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Archive for April, 2011

KW writes: The wedding is over. The vows are made. The world is reviewing the hoopla and eye-candy. I, personally, have many concerns with the purpose of royalty. I was waiting to dive in with analysis and critique while two real-live people were contemplating such an important step. But, now that Kate and Will have taken their leap of faith, maybe it is time to reflect on what monarchy (and empire) mean?

One of my friends has dived in on FaceBook. She noted (quite emphactically) that a lot of England’s wealth and tradition are related to colonizing and exploiting other parts of the world. And, having lots of wars. Seeing all the military uniforms as part of a religious ceremony was one of the things that didn’t sit well with me. Also, the fact that so many people are distracted by the hoopla, when they have their own lives, responsibilities, and countries to take care of.

Hope you might make your own comments — good and bad — in the comments. And, here is a poem I had written reflecting on Princess Diana’s wedding. It was written after she died…

The Bluish Light, 1997 (more…)

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Jane Austen Tea: Kimberly and Barbara

Kimberly Wilder and Barbara Hellering

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to attend a Jane Austen tea in nearby Port Jefferson. It was a lot of fun. And, I met another local Jane Austen fan who does media and blogging projects. Her name is Erin Coughlin, and her article is excerpted and linked below. I was late to the event. Though, I was in time for the slideshow and tea. I enjoyed hearing Barbara Hellering, give her list of favorite “Mr. Darcies” and speak about the importance of irony in Jane Eyre. My Flicrk photos are: here.

(excerpt from) The Patch
Library Hosts Literary Tea Party To Celebrate Favorite Author
Barbara Hellering of the Jane Austen Society of North America delights fans at The Port Jefferson Library
Erin Coughlin 4/21/2011

On April 14, the Port Jefferson Library hosted it’s highly successful, Annual Jane Austen Tea Party to celebrate National Library Week.

Vice President Barbara Hellering of The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) was on hand to discuss both the British author’s life and times, as well as her influence on modern society… (more…)

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Emma, Lady Hamilton. By Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Emma, Lady Hamilton, was a contemporary of Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire. Georgiana knew and liked Lady Hamilton.

If you like Lady Hamilton, or want to learn more about her, there is currently an exhibit at a book club in New York city. More info about “The Enchantress: Emma, Lady Hamilton”, at the Grolier Club until April 30, 2011, can be found at their link, and at the “read more” below.

I have become fascinated with Lady Hamilton party because of the movie “That Hamilton Woman”, with Vivien Leigh as Lady Hamilton, and with Leigh’s then husband, Laurence Olivier, as Lord Horatio Nelson. The movie is exquisite.

My favorite part of the movie is the way it explores the relationships between men and women, caught in a sexist society, where divorce is more of a shame than affairs, courtesans, or cruelty. And, I love the line uttered by the character of Lord Nelson, “That’s the way people look at these things. They do not believe in a friendship between a man and a woman.” I think that the tension that occurs — partly by nature, partly by a skeptical, sexist society — when a man and a woman try to be friends or colleagues is a large part of the energy that keeps women from succeeding in business, or fairly taking part in governing.

For an excellent review of the Grolier Club exhibit, see the Scandalous Women article: here. A quick biography of Emma, Lady Hamilton can be found at one of my favorite history blogs, The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: here.

Info on the exhibit: (more…)

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