Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: Book vs. BBC

Intended for people who know the story, but not overly spoilery if you don’t.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell became one of my favourite books as I was reading it. By bookworm standards I am an exceptionally slow reader, and Jonathan Strange is exceptionally large. It took me quite a while to read it which turned it into a bit of a retreat into a dark, stormy, magical place. It just feels like something to read in the fall, when the air is crisp and it gets dark early. It reminds me of something Hermione would have read at Hogwarts regarding the history of magic in England, especially with all of the footnotes. Some span for pages.

Rather than try (and fail) to re-read the whole book this season, I decided to give the mini-series a try. I remember the trailers for it and I was quite pleased, given what I had imagined while reading the book. I had always imagined Jonathan to be more of a Tom Hiddleston but after watching the whole series I think Bertie Carvel was perfect.

Eddie Marsan’s Norrell almost hit home. He could have done with some more grump and misanthropy. 8.5/10

I didn’t really agree with the characterization of the faerie with thistle-down hair. I think he should have been more playful and mischievous but he was portrayed as very menacing and malicious.

I actually always pictured him with a bouffant and a mole, but perhaps that’s a little too French.

I was also confused by Childermass. I don’t remember him being so creepy in the book. I’m not sure it was necessary, but it worked so sure.

For the most part, I liked what they decided to keep and discard. Jonathan’s relationship with Flora Greysteel would have muddled the rest of the story and would have detracted from Jonathan and Arabella’s love story. By the way — Jonathan and Arabella are goals af. They just love each other so much omg. The only change that I didn’t quite like was that the BBC version had Jonathan save Arabella from Lost Hope but in the book she found her own way out. I’m a big fan of ladies who save themselves. I can see why they made the change, though, it ties the story together quite well.

As much as I loved seeing all the characters come to life, I think Lady Pole (Alice Englert) stole the whole show. She was sharp and clever, and mad and desperate.

Her refusal to stay married to the man she was sold to was an epic addition that I don’t remember happening in the book. She doesn’t let you forget that she was bargained to a man who, albeit was not particularly unkind, she did not love. It was a stark comparison to Jonathan and Arabella whose relationship was warm and loving even when they fought. A+ performance and characterization.

I really enjoyed watching the mini-series and I’m glad they made it 7 episodes, rather than try to squeeze this huge story into a movie. The characters got to shine and it told the biggest parts of the story. If you have not watched the mini-series, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. And if you have not read the book, there’s so much to discover and enjoy!


Retail Therapy & Chill: Etsy Faves

Like many others, when I feel down I fill the void in my soul with material goods. But you may recall from a previous post that I am in no position to be buying:

a) anything that is not immediately useful
b) anything I can’t use for work
c) anything

But am I going to let my pesky finances stand in the way of retail glory? You know me better than that. Of course I did buy some actual things of varying usefulness (thank you, Visa) but I also quelled my online shopping demons by going fave-crazy on Etsy. Nothing useful enough to give away my dollars but some very amusing items for a maybe possibly later date. Here’s what I’ve been loving on Etsy!

Grocery Totes

Don’t get confused; I don’t go grocery shopping. I just like the idea of these cute little totes because it makes me pine for the day where I’m a strong independent lady that gets her own shit done. Like grocery shopping.

$26.94 CAD

I also enjoyed the ones that said:
Hunter Gatherer
Make Terrible Choices & Regret Nothing
Because Reasons

Planner Stamps/Stickers

My planner is my lifeline, especially when I fall into funks when I can’t keep my own life in order. I like to take the time to organize and label and pre-write dates (especially pay days!). I’ve been falling out of sync with my planner and I think some stamps or stickers might brighten things up and help me stay organized.

$3.80 CAD

$5.58 CAD

The pay day sticker is kawaii af but if you are a boring person and want a simple little stamp, there’s always this option. Or you can look for a set that meets your planning needs!

Wax Seals

Listen. I know it’s not 1820, but sometimes it’s nice to be fancy. I’ve always liked that people had their own seals that were representative of themselves or their family. Plus seals are so pretty and elegant and surprisingly not as expensive as you would think. After looking at a number of designs I saw this peacock feather pattern and I decided it must be mine one day. (It’d be a nice touch for this year’s Christmas cards too!)

$13.20 CAD

Book Owner Stamps

Now that I’m becoming increasingly picky with what books I keep and what I donate, I feel the need to claim the keepers in a more decisive way than simply writing my name in them. Not all my books; just the ones that have a spot in my heart’s library*.

$33.66 CAD

I love the classy and elegant script that will mark my books as mine but you can get a stamp that really speaks to your personality. You can go quite ornate, or simple and cute. I actually quite like the idea of a snail stamp for my books as a wink to my embarrassing reading speed.

* “heart’s library” is probably the cheesiest thing I’ve ever said, PLEASE forgive me

Bath Bombs

I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m (not really) sorry.

I didn’t even like baths until I discovered bath bombs. The fact that I know I’ll never get the tub as clean as I want it pre-bath is a huge deterrent. But guess what! If you get bath bombs with a ton of shit in them, you won’t even notice that stray hair floating by. Plus they’re relaxing af and smell real nice. Great for shitty times. I found a vendor on Etsy that’s been selling Steven Universe themed bath bombs and I want them all.

$6.06 CAD

They seem to use scents that are pertinent to the show and characters. There’s a bath bomb for Pearl, Garnet, Sadie, and Lapis!

Now that you have a sense of the dumb eclectic shit I browse on Etsy you may understand why I chose not to buy them. But man, hitting that fave button sure feels good, and if I really find the need to spend $30 on a grocery bag then I know where to go.