BBC’s Wolf Hall and Princess Kaiulani

Heart & Country, Career & Family.

Musing as I’m watching another pair of period drama trailers: do I need to write a dissertation on why female rulers must always choose between their “heart” and their country? While their codpiece bedecked brethren are assumed to be in control of both (Ok, ok, so Henry ran into a spot of bother on this one, but if he/she’d just been willing to SETTLE, etc, etc)? Rings familiar to the Career VS Family we’re all supposed to be struggling with. My curiosity is more on the “how much is literary/cultural construct” VS reality.

Wolf Hall (2015)

Source: Madame Guillotine’s Wolf Hall on BBC2

Princess Kaiulani (2010)

Note: I have seen neither of these yet! Will remedy that STAT.

French Prints: Fashion Plates & Louis-Leopold Boilly & Little Napoleon

French Prints at the Sugar Shack

And the craziest china cabinet we could find... full of glowy uranium depression glass and antique absinthe collectables!

I’ve been collecting these french prints for a few years now, this is the first time any of them has made it up on the wall!  We’ve grouped them together above a crazy art deco cabinet we got to house all the depression glass and absinthe collectibles.

The piece de resistance, a pair of large framed prints, were recently acquired at the Alameda Antiques Faire, I nearly fell over myself to get these, and the price was amazing. Shall I tell you? $75 for the pair.  The artist, Louis-Leopold Boilly, is an obsession of mine, seeing as his career straddled the Ancien Régime all the way through the Post-Napoleonic period. This pair of prints Defends Moi & La Lecon D’union Conjugal also reference the famous Before & After by Hogarth: depicting the struggle of seduction, and the exhaustion of surrender.  These are from the Directoire Period, circa 1797!

Thanks to Google Books for this quote:

“During the Directoire, Boilly produced a number of compositions, of which a good many were executed by an engraver of no very great talent, named Petit. Prints such as ” Defends-moi,” ” Tu saurais ma pensee,” ” Ah ! qu’il est sot ! ” and others in the same style are fairly common, and not particularly worthy of attention. On the other hand, certain coloured and uncoloured prints after Boilly have within recent years attained a considerable rise in value. ” — French Prints of the 18th Century

The rest are Directoire Period Fashion Plates & Kissing Games, Famous and Infamous Madames du Lettres: Mme de Staël, Mme Roland & Mlle Lemornand, a tiny print of the Palais du Justice & Conciergerie (last holding place of Marie Antoinette and so many others who went to the guillotine), and a tiny victorian miniature of Little Napoleon himself. Oh, and don’t forget the tiny dime store vase featuring Madame Recamier, the famous beauty of the Directoire and Empire!

On Collecting: I’m fascinated by Georgian & Victorian collectors, my stepmom just sent me this Guardian UK article (by AS Byatt no less) to a new book out on the subject: Magpies, Squirrels and Thieves

Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes

ode-to-a-dead-cat.jpgCaveat! My cat(s) is not dead! I just love this poem, the author, and the inspiration for the ditty, Horace Walpole’s notorious Gothi inclinations (he invented the genre, dontchaknow). He even coined a word for spooky atmosphere: gloomth!

Apparently this is a popular poem in countries and cultures that care about such frivolities of literature… but I had never heard of it until a recent obsession with Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill sent me scurrying to the stacks to read everything I could get my little paws on.

Written by Thomas Gray (1716-1771), ye olde BFF of Walpole, after Walpole’s cat actually did drown in one of his giant chinese fishbowls, to spoof his friend’s obsession with gothick romanticism.

Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes

‘TWAS on a lofty vase’s side,
Where China’s gayest art had dy’d
   The azure flowers that blow;
Demurest of the tabby kind,
The pensive Selima reclin’d,
   Gaz’d on the lake below.

Her conscious tail her joy declar’d;
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
   The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
   She saw, and purr’d applause.

Still had she gaz’d; but midst the tide
Two beauteous forms were seen to glide,
   The Genii of the stream;
Their scaly armour’s Tyrian hue,
Through richest purple, to the view,
   Betray’d a golden gleam.

The hapless Nymph with wonder saw:
A whisker first, and then a claw,
   With many an ardent wish,
She stretch’d, in vain, to reach the prize.
What female heart can gold despise?
   What cat’s averse to fish?

Presumptuous Maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch’d, again she bent,
   Nor knew the gulph between;
(Malignant Fate sat by, and smil’d.)
The slippery verge her feet beguil’d;
   She tumbled headlong in.

Eight times emerging from the flood,
She mew’d to every watery God,
   Some speedy aid to send.
No Dolphin came, no Nereid stir’d:
Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard.
   A favourite has no friend.

From hence, ye beauties, undeceiv’d,
Know, one false step is ne’er retriev’d,
   And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wandering eyes
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize;
   Nor all, that glisters, gold.

More Info on Horace Walpole:

When SuperKaijus Visit …

Best houseguests EVAR. Junk shopping, Kaiju popping, Okonomiyaki flipping happy goodness. Paul & Melissa.

Sunday was super hot so we had an impromptu Film Fest, with banana shakes and sundry other boozes. Once the sun went down Paul got to work in the kitchen and made a series of Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake-like griddled dish) of ever increasing complexity and awesomeness. The Grande Finale was Octopus & Hamhock— or, HAMHOCKTOPUS—that bloo my mind. For real, it was superb! Whoddathunkit???
Pose Doll by Melissa! She is so dreamy, I will name her and play dress-up for DAYS. More, better pictures to come!
omgomgomg!  SuperJunk gifty-poo
And last but not least, Mr. Kallisti has spent the last few months dissecting vintage Kappa, analyzing how they were made, and recreating the art of Kappa Kraft!
Mr. Kallisti's Silver Screen Kappa!Devil Kappa for the Devil Man: Paul Kaiju!


Film Fest for the Aging Hipsters:

Pride and Prejudice BLOO-RAY!

Pride & Prejudice Blu-ray Edition (BBC 1995)
BOOYAH! I’m so excited. P&P prints have been notoriously bad. The Amazon page above has several nice examples of the cleanup they’ve done to get this print sparkle.
I’ve owned nearly every edition of this series, from the initial VHS, which I watched til it disintigrated, and 2 subsequent dvd editions of varying states of UGH. Vive le Hi Def! I can’t wait.
pride-and-prejudice-bluray.png

By the Sword Divided – From Revolution to Restoration in Period Drama

What I did over the Christmas holidays… It started out with Mr. Kallisti downloading “The Devil’s Whore” for me “cuz it sounded like your type of thing. Y’know, whores…” It snowballed from there as I watched Charles I beheaded three times over the two week slowdown! It has taken me 2 more weeks just to finish this post, oy!
Here’s the line-up, all highly recommended, in rough chrono-order.
1638 to 1660: The Devil’s Whore [IMDB]

By and large, there are two categories of period drama. The first is White Petticoat Drama, where people do a bit of frisky fan-work, have a picnic that involves a huge ham, and then live happily ever after. The second is Dirty Period Drama – where everyone is covered in boils, wees out of the window, and palpably suffers from the lack of antibiotics and/or mobile telecommunications. The Devil’s Whore is definitely in the second category. John Simm’s fleas should make the credit list. Oliver Cromwell clearly pongs. It makes a dirty war a very dirty war. But one that, against all the Civil War odds, makes great telly.
Caitlin Moran, The Times

the_devils_whore_2008_08_27.jpg
1640 to 1660: “By the Sword Divided” (1983) [IMDB] [WIKI]
A bit obvious to say, but if you liked Poldark you’ll really enjoy “By the Sword Divided.” Classic low budget, yet brilliantly written and performed eighteen hour series from the BBC. It also aired on Masterpiece Theater in the late 80’s. One of the few period dramas to deal with the English Civil War, before and aftermath.
by-the-sword-divided.jpg
1660 to 1685: Charles II – The Power & The Passion (The Last King in the U.S.): [BBC] [IMDB] 2003, covers the life and adventures of Charles II of England, played by the ever roguish Rufus Sewell. Mwrowr.
charles_second.jpg
1673 to 1722: The First Churchills [IMDB]
The First Churchills: 1969! Covers the period 1673 through 1722, based on the biography by Winston Churchill of his illustrious ancestors, the first Duke & Duchess of Marlborough. Susan Hampshire & John Neville are sublime.
firstchurchills1.jpg

I’m excited.

sd-10.jpgAll ya’ll probably have seen this, but it is so exciting. Rawr!
Volks has posted a sentimental history of super dollfie, contests and games, and a nearly complete sketch of their events for the year! This includes TWO US Dolpas for June and November. View: Super Dollfie 10th Anniversary Events Schedule
Dolpa3 in NYC.
June 7th – 8th 2008
Fashion Institute of Technology NYC, NY
In conjunction with FDQ. Registration will be through the Volks site, when they post it. It looks like Volks is beta-testing a new store interface on the Japanese side. Neat!
Also: greatest thing about the writer’s strike? It sent us scurrying for downloadable content on the internet. Yay for BBC programming! Mr. Kallisti has been on a quest to get me mostly Eastenders (I died a little when they cancelled the series on BBC America), every available costume drama and mystery thriller airing. We just transfer it over via wifi on the TiVo and blammo! Plays like TEEVEE.
New favorite show EVAR: Phoo Action
Phooaction.jpg
From the genius who brought you Tank Girl and Gorillaz, Jamie Hewlett. Whitey with the red hair back there is wearing Buddha’s magic underpants!
(gosh it is hard to get around to posting even when I’m in the moooooood! bizzy, bizzy!)

Oops! All my posting has been over here:

French Revolution Fashion Archives: Check out my slave to SEO section title.
I’m not done, neither! I have a couple more entries to do, mainly portraits and allegorical images. But this has been so fun, and I’ve been working on it since just before Bastille Day (July 14th, duh). Please let me know if you notice bad grammar, typos, and/or historical snafus!
EDIT: Let me know if you noticed the View gallery… links on each post, or do I need to make them more obvious? There’s lotsa pictures! I would hate for people to miss them. *sadface*
1793-1778-contrast-wholeplate-lowQ.jpg
Ah! Quelle Antiquité” and “Oh! Quelle Folie que la Nouveauté!!!
1778 meets 1793