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"And then we will kill them all."

When I eventually started watching Game of Thrones to gush over the glorious wonder that is Lena Headey, the last thing I expected was to become infatuated with Michelle Fairley.

That face.
That hair.
That voice.


Since last time I wrote I have graduated with a BA in English & History, travelled to Salamanca for the bicentenary re-enactment and am now on "holiday" in Norway at my parents' house.

My main reason for posting is that I've just finished a Teresa Moreno fanvid. I confess I fangirl her obsessively (equalling the degree to which my fourteen year old self once fangirled Eowyn) and to the extent that if I knew Assumpta Serna's address I'd hide in the bushes outside her house, to serenade her softly dressed as a partisan. (Just. Look. At. Her.) Rather than putting on my feminist glasses to analyse the Comandante, I prefer to just simply lean back and appreciate how bad ass she is.

War & Peace fanvid

I have acquired a new obession - Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace which I started reading a few weeks ago after watching the miniseries from 2007 starring Clémence Poésy and Alessio Boni. I have only read about a hundred pages as I've been writing essays and attending uni besides and because I am in no hurry to finish it. So far I find it very entertaining and incredibly funny, but you never know, I might end up hating Tolstoy after a thousand pages.

I haven't made a fanvid in ages, but I threw this together yesterday as I immediately thought of Sonya when I first heard this song. I find I really like her character although I usually hate the nice, quiet, selfless, "proper" female characters and tend to prefer women like Becky Sharpe or Mary Crawford. Book!Young Nicolai and book!Young Sonya are just too adorable for words and it breaks my heart that they do not marry in the end. That's why this fanvid came to be - it began as a video retelling their story, but a as love triangle from the very beginning, and ended up being slightly AU. Because everyone knows what happens after Tolstoy finishes his story - Nikolai leaves Maria to go back to Sonya and they flee to the countryside where they spend their days producing lots and lots of tiny hussar babies.

Anno 1790: fangirling Märta Raxelius

I have just finished watching the SVT miniseries Anno 1790 and despite some of the first episodes being fairly dull and most of the costumes being far too old fashioned to be worn in in the 1790s, I thoroughly enjoyed it. (For a short summary, see my earlier post.)

My favourite character must be the incorruptible cross-dressing revolutionary Märta Raxelius, and while watching the miniseries I compulsively screen-capped her to have all her outfits copied. I'm not sure if this is of any massive interest as the series, although just released on DVD, does not come with English subtitles, but here's a picspam for your viewing pleasure anyway, although be warned that it is spoiler heavy (concerning the fate of this particular character, not the sub plots of each episode or sub plots relating to other characters.)

Mamsell RaxeliusCollapse )

Edit 31.3: added a few more screencaps.

Arthur Wellsley, sexual predator

Quite a while ago when I was trying to decide what to do for my final year dissertation, my flatmates and I put our heads together a compiled a list of possible titles:

"Robespierre: I wish he was my best friend."
"L'Ancien Régime: Fuck that Shit!"
"The Life and Disabilities of Lord Nelson."
"Pom-Poms and petticoats: The Sexual Life of the Duke Of Wellington"
"Ankles All the Way!"

The Wellington one sprang from this image caption from Foulkes' Dancing Into Battle: A Social History of the Battle of Waterloo:

As my flatmate stated, if I ever run out of money I can always write a biography called "The Potent Years of the Iron Duke."

Now, I haven't exactly been active here for the last year - but the thing is, I have just started watching a new costume drama for which the fanfiction literally writes itself, and this reminded me of the fandom fest that is livejournal.

Anno 1790 is produced by the Swedish SVT (kinda like BBC or ITV) and is a kind of a cross between Garrow's Law and City of Vice (or Bow Street Runner or whatever that show was called, I never watched it but wasted all my time - and still do from time to time I confess, playing the online game.) The series begins at the end of the Russo-Swedish war and centers around the protagonist, Johan Gustav Dåådh (yes, that is actually how his name is spelled), on his return to Stockholm. Dåådh is a beautiful gingerboy former army surgeon turned policeman who with his radical ideas and sympathy for the French Revolution sets out to battle the crime and oppression of late Gustavian society. Being a rather fervent admirer of the old parts of Stockholm I was very pleased to find that many scenes were (naturally) filmed in historic areas of the city.

I have just finished the third (of ten) episodes in which a scene took place which made me laugh out loud. The third episode is centered around the murder of a publisher of radical pamphlets, who has received a large number of love letters from female authors and poets whom he seduced after promising to print their works.

The main suspect is Pauline, a (rather amazing) French revolutionary and author of a pamphlet entitled Liberty, equality, sisterhood. She falls in love with/seduces/appreciates the radical tendencies of Dåådh (whatever you prefer, there's a scene in which Pauline states she believes women should do exactly what they want and forcefully initiates sex), who afterwards helps her evade capture by dressing her in men's clothes. Screencaps aka the fanfiction writes itselfCollapse )

Number 1, London

I thought I might as well post some pictures from my little escapade to Apsley House, which was the home of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington. Apsley was originally designed for Henry Bathurst aka Lord Apsley (2nd Earl of Bathurst) by the neoclassical superstar Robert Adam between 1771-1778. Seriously, if I had a time machine and/or knew the art of reviving the dead, I would commission Adam to make me a house - in his time he designed Pulteney Bridge in Bath, fashionable town houses in Gosvenor & Fitzroy Square, Osterley Park and my beloved Kenwood House, which I will make a separate post about at some point as it figures in my spring escapades. He also did some work on Theatre Royal in Drury Lane.

Wellington moved to Apsley in 1817 and was granted 700.000 pounds to redecorate the house, which had cost Bathurst 10.000. Wellington hired Benjamin Dean Wyatt (who incidentally also worked on Theatre Royal) to work his magic, and he re-faced the facade (originally red brick), refurbished the rooms and added another part to the house. What struck me the most was how incredibly aristocratic it was. Not that I expected it to be small and snuggly, but I am more used to the country houses of the gentry or more middle class town dwellings, with less gold and more embroidery. Now, onto the pictures (please do forgive the poor quality as they were sneakily taken with my iphone.)

Apsley House

The history of a battle, is not unlike the history of a ball.Collapse )

To conclude: Apsley House is a gorgeous aristocratic town house you should all visit. I was recommended visiting Sir John Soane's Museum as a contrast to Apsley. Personally I preferred Soane's as he designed his house in different architectural styles (even tacky gothic!) and collected ancient Roman and Greek sculptures on a large scale. It's such an amazing house and I've taken to hanging around there as it is free entry. Do call upon Sir Soane as well, preferably during one of the candlelit evening openings, they're spectacular.
I went a little crazy on amazon here the other day. While looking for books for my dissertation and some to help me revise for my exam on Georgian everyday life and architecture, I added far too many items to my shopping basket and as a result I have been receiving parcels non-stop for the last few days. I am incredibly excited about the first I received, Mrs. Delany & Her Circle as I didn't realise it would be so big and with so many shiny illustrations. Oh, 18th century domesticity and accomplishments, how I love you! And of course I can't help but having a soft spot for Mrs. Delany as she's my professor's pet. Let's reclaim domesticity! I have already started by acquiring a great deal of things with flower patterns and embroidering a tiny ship (which was actually an assignment for a seminar on female crafts.)

Mrs. Delany

How young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are.Collapse )

Oh, and here's my new iphone case (and iphone, whoo) and an example of my mad embroidery skills. I bet you are all awed.

Professor: So, Aleksandra, what did you make?
Me: [Holds up piece of cloth]
Professor: Ah, I see. What would you all think if you found this during your research on the Georgian era? Who would Aleksandra be?
Girl: A man!
Professor: Erm, I was thinking more she had a brother in the navy...

Not the first time I've heard that, I tell you! (Watch this space for an upcoming rant on my new flatmate who thinks everyone's attracted to her.)
Permission to come aboard although I have been absent for ever so long?

I have not really felt like writing here for the past year or so and my f-list was clogged up with random communities and fandoms I am no longer interested in, so I could not bring myself to keep up with the reading either. I have however cleaned up my f-list, my tags and my profile, and am prepared to start afresh. After going through my old entries I decided to make the journal partly f-locked. In other words, most of my old entries are locked, private or untagged and in the future I will lock personal posts (that is to say, rants) but keep fannish and historical posts public. I am growing older and therefore more paranoid, apparently.

What has happened since I last posted a proper update? Well, I finally feel at home in the new flat, will soon be finished with the second year of my history/literature bachelor degree and am trying to get into re-enactment. I have been on several escapades, watched a lot of costume dramas and bought a bunny named Dr. Peter Howarth, after an English professor at my university.

Dr Peter Howarth

I have also started planning my dissertation which will be on Jane Austen's Persuasion and sailors wives during the Napoleonic Wars, and am currently being all excited about the Jane Austen Weekend in Florence which I am attending in May. These days I am obsessing over Sharpe, enjoying my holiday and the unusually warm and sunny London weather, and strolling about the neighborhood with my flatmate. We have also been watching a great deal of Jeeves and Wooster, and stalked people on facebook.

Lastly, how have all of you been? And have you all retired to dreamwidth?

"It's against the law to not pay rent." ♥

Also: our fourth flatmate has turned psychotic and now lives in a hostel as she's afraid we'll physically harm her if she comes home. I am at loss for words. But at least our heating works again!