He loves me, he loves me not

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s topic is romance. My list consists couples from history, literature, television and film. A little of everything. Who’s on your list?

Abelard_and_HeloiseAbelard and Heloise
Nothing screams true love forever than letting your lover’s family castrate you. Abelard heard how well read Heloise was and persuaded her uncle Fulbert to meet her. He realized she was beautiful and quite intelligent too. When they become lovers, her uncle finds out and they both flee to his sister’s house where she later gives birth to their child. They secretly marry despite Heloise refusing to marry him (she believed marriage would ruin his career prospects). Her uncle publicly announces the marriage, but she denies it and goes to a convent at Abelard’s urging. Fearing his niece has been cast aside, Fulbert castrates him. The lovers never see each other again, but over the course of twenty years, exchanged passionate love letters.

03B2LAPOLA2Policarpa “La Pola” Salavarrieta and Alejo Sabaraín (La Pola)
No one can confirm if these two were indeed lovers, but evidence suggests that they were. In the telenovela, they meet as children and fall in love, but Alejo is told she died of a fever and when they meet as adults, he’s shocked to see her alive. Although he’s engaged to someone else, he pledges his love and urges her to run away with him, but she refuses wanting to do things correctly. Soon she’s involved in the war effort to free New Granada from Spain. He reluctantly gets involved and in the end, they are both arrested for treason. It’s been rumored, as they both stood to be shot (she opted for that sentence saying she wasn’t a coward) he turned and said to her, “It has been an honor to love you and even more so to die with you.”

maya_raj_caminho_indiasMaya and Raj (Caminho das Indias)
When I first started to watch India, I really wanted Maya to be with her one true love Bahuan, but he was an “untouchable” and her family had already arranged her marriage to Raj. Raj was in love with someone else too, but she was a foreigner. He and Maya make the best of things and she’s thrown out of his house when he finds out his son isn’t his. Meanwhile Bahuan tries to get Maya to leave Raj, but she refuses saying she owes her husband respect. Raj is angry at Maya and later he realizes he still loves her. He goes in search for her because at this point she’s living as a cast off and apologizes. The series ends with her walking hand in hand with him and they come across Bahuan’s wedding and he says to her, “I hope they live a beautiful love like ours.”

150307706284419415_g0CEIpkA_cClark Gable and Carole Lombard
Ah the love story for these two ended way too soon. They met when they were both married to other people, but a few years later they announced they would marry; no date was set and Gable just picked up Lombard one day and drove off to get married (the lovers didn’t think they would ever marry because Gable’s wife refused on several occasions to sign divorce papers, but she relented). The two often played jokes on each other and had nicknames for each other, “Ma” & “Pa.” One time Lombard bought a blow up doll and was in bed in with it to surprise Gable as a joke. When he arrived he made comment to the effect of, the doll better not be equipped bigger than him. LOL! Lombard became one of the first female casualties of World War II when her plane crashed outside Las Vegas. She was returning to LA after being on a Bond Tour. Gable was inconsolable and joined the war effort on her behalf and memory. When he died, he chose to be buried beside her.

Robin-Hood-and-Maid-Marian-walt-disneys-robin-hood-6386303-300-402Robin Hood and Maid Marian
What’s a hero without the fair maiden? Although versions of this tale portray Marian differently, she’s not really introduced as a love interest for Robin until sometime in the 16th century. She’s evolved as a character and each adaptation portrays her differently depending on the time period the tale is written. I’ve always been a fan of Marian as a noblewoman under the protection of King Richard, but I like the Marian who can fight for herself and isn’t afraid of a little adventure. I do have a favorite film adaptation of the Robin Hood tale and brace yourself it isn’t a popular version. I’m a fan of the Kevin Costner version. Blame it on the ten year in me who went and saw Prince of Thieves and just fell in love. Although I can’t resist Disney’s version.

phant093Christine and the Phantom (Phantom of the Opera)
Now I know what you’re thinking, but I’m basing this on the novel. In the novel, Christine does return to the lair to be with him and stays until he dies. Prior to that when he kidnaps her, he sets up the trap to kill everyone in the Opera house unless she agrees to marry him, but she refuses. When she realizes Raoul is trapped in the hot torture chamber, she agrees to marriage to save him and everyone at the Opera house. Erik then tries to drown Raoul, but Christine says no and promises not to kill herself if she marries him. He rescues him and the Persian. Afterwards, Erik is alone with Christine and he lifts his mask to kiss her forehead. He’s overcome with emotion because not even his own mother allowed him to touch her and Christine kisses him back. Having a change of heart, he lets Christine go on the condition that she return when he dies. She honors that promise and stays with him when his time comes near.

Wallis_Simpson_5Wallis Simpson and Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor
A king abdicating the throne for the woman he loves? Swoon! To be truthful, I’m not sure I would have wanted him to do that if I had been in Wallis’ shoes. Imagine if it never worked out, he’d be saying, “but I gave up my country for you!” Lucky for us it did work out despite the royals never warming up to her. I wish we knew more about Wallis and she’s such a mystery! I’m sure history hasn’t been kind to her story. We’ll never know 100% if both Wallis and Edward were Nazi sympathizers and if they were, I wonder if they ever changed their mind seeing the aftermath of the second World War.

Annex - Kerr, Deborah (An Affair to Remember)_01Nickie and Terry (An Affair to Remember)
If I learned anything from watching An Affair to Remember it was, sometimes promises aren’t kept and there’s a reason behind it. Nickie, played the handsome Cary Grant, is on a transatlantic ocean liner enroute to New York. He’s involved with someone and he meets Terry, played by Deborah Kerr. Through a series of meetings, the two of them quickly establish a friendship and soon Terry falls in love with him. Both agree to meet in six months time at the top of the Empire State Building if they have ended their relationships. Six months later, Terry is on her way to meet Nickie when tragedy strikes! She’s hit by a car and Nickie is unaware of the accident and believes she’s rejected him. Another six months pass and they see each other at the ballet and he doesn’t notice she’s in a wheelchair because she’s seated as he passes to say hello to her. Nickie’s still hurt that she rejected him and finds out her address. When he visits her, he tries to find out why she didn’t make the meeting, but she doesn’t address the issue. As he leaves he notices his painting on her wall and remembers what the shopkeeper told him, that he gave it to a woman in a wheelchair. He realizes why she didn’t keep the appointment and he embraces her as they both declare their love. :sigh:

00/00/1939. film "Gone with the wind" (Autant en emporte le vent) By Victor FlemingRhett and Scarlett (Gone With the Wind)
I first saw Gone With the Wind when I was five-years-old and fell hard for Rhett and Scarlett. Over the years, I’ve read the book on numerous occasions and watch the film at least twice a year. While it’s not your typical love story with a hero and heroine overcoming the odds to finally find happiness, it is a love story nevertheless. Haven’t we all dealt with unrequited love at some point in our lives? Sure in Scarlett’s case we know Ashley is leading her on as well as Melanie, but what of Rhett? Is she leading him on? My answer is always no because he’s fully aware of where she stands with regards to Ashley, but Rhett believes he can make Scarlett love him. Sadly Scarlett realizes too late of her love for Rhett and while he passionately declares that he doesn’t give a damn when she confesses, in my mind he does. I know in my version of the true ending, he comes back to find her at Tara and grovels at her feet because after all…tomorrow is another day.

prsbrockwc23Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth (Persuasion)
I love stories of separated lovers who meet up in the future. The unresolved conflict of will they or won’t they gets me all the time. Anne is young when she walks way from Wentworth and several years later, they meet again. She’s convinced he’s off to find a wife and all the signs point to that, while he quietly ignores her. Then tragedy strikes when Louisa Musgrove is hurt and Anne leaves to Bath. Later she comes across Wentworth’s sister who informs her of Louisa’s engagement and Anne’s heart dies a little thinking Wentworth is marrying her, but his sister confirms that is not the case. Wentworth comes to Bath and isn’t pleased to see another man courting Anne and the two of them become reacquainted. At the public room in Bath, Wentworth overhears Anne talking about men and women in love and he’s moved with what she has to say. He then proceeds to write the BEST love letter ever written in history (it’s true) and the two of them marry. Here’s the love letter and judge for yourself:

I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in
F. W.

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Thoughts on Fox’s The Following


When I first heard James Purefoy passed on Game of Thrones to star in Fox’s The Following, I thought he was crazy. I absolutely adore Purefoy as an actor and I never pass up an opportunity to see anything he’s in. I was unsure about The Following because of the premise, but the fact that Kevin Williamson is involved as the creator and a producer, I was willing to put away doubts and give it a chance.

Premise: A brilliant and charismatic, yet psychotic serial killer communicates with other active serial killers and activates a cult of believers following his every command.

If you’ve seen any of the Scream films, well the first two since they were written by Williamson, then you know his work and there’s no doubt The Following IS a Williamson production.  I couldn’t help, but make comparisons between Scream 2 and The Following in terms of the use of a sorority and it taking place on a college campus.  Oddly enough the statement about 300 active serial killers in the US, is uttered in Scream 2.  The Following is what in many ways should have been Scream 3.  It turns out Williamson already had an idea for Scream 3’s plot; however, the studio brought in a different writer and he was off the project.  Years later he takes the idea of people committing murder based on a leader’s instructions.  This isn’t new, after all, Charles Manson’s followers did what he asked in 1969.

Kevin Bacon is Ryan Hardy, the FBI agent who brought down Joe Carroll (James Purefoy).  Carroll is an English Lit professor whose specialty is Edgar Allan Poe. When Carroll’s much anticipated book fails, he begins to kill women on his university campus in the name of Poe. His 15th victim, Sarah Fuller, is saved by Hardy and when Carroll escapes prison he’s out to write the ending he was denied.

I thought I might go more traditional this time, you know, villain, good versus evil. I need a strong protagonist so that the reader can truly invest, a flawed, broken man searching for redemption, and that is you. You are my flawed hero. Yes, I ensured that by killing Sarah. She was the inciting incident, the hero’s call to action. This is merely the prologue, this is just the beginning. That was the entire point of Sarah’s death. It was for you. It’s just the beginning.-Joe Carroll talking to Ryan Hardy

What made me wary about the show? As some of you know, I’m a big fan of the Chelsea Cain Archie / Gretchen series.  For those not familiar with the series, it’s about a beautiful serial killer who captures the lead detective and tortures him.  Gretchen Lowell becomes this instant celebrity because of how beautiful she is and inspires shirts that say “Run Gretchen Run,” when she escapes prison.  As for the detective, Archie Sheridan is never the same and Gretchen figures heavily in the background.  The series is currently made of 5 books with a 6th to be released later in the year.  Cain sold the rights to the series this past year and FX is developing the series.  There’s still a way to go and that involves a pilot being filmed, etc.  I was unsure about The Following because in the Cain novels, Gretchen has what I call apprentices.  Archie asks her how many people are out there that are ticking time bombs.  To hear a plot about a serial killer with a following who commits murder at his request made me really think about wanting to see this.  I have a suspicion that Gretchen plays a much deeper role in the crimes committed by others in the series.  It’s inevitable if the Cain series does air that the two will get compared just like Archie / Gretchen get compared to Clarice / Hannibal Lecter’s relationship.

As I watched, I was surprised at how much I liked it. It was a bit predictable, but I believe most pilots these days are.  If Williamson stays on as the producer of the series, I can foresee it lasting longer than a season.  It will be interesting to see what other aspects they bring in especially with regards to symbolism and Poe’s work. I know some viewers have a problem with the way Poe’s work is being depicted and going so far to say that Poe wasn’t homicidal. True, but I think they are missing the point: this is Carroll’s interpretation of Poe’s work. The fact Carroll is an academic professor pretty much sums it all. Those of us in academia have encountered others we have disagreed with when it comes to a text. Keeping that in mind, I have to say Carroll isn’t using Poe’s work to commit murder because Poe believed in it, but rather this is just one man’s academic interpretation of an author’s work.

A warning: it is gory and disturbing.  I’m actually quite surprised at how much they got away with.  It’s a bold move for regular network television and it leaves me wondering if this will set the bar for others to follow.

Overall, The Following was good and enjoyable.  I’ll be sleeping with the lights on and making sure I don’t take out the trash too late at night.

Did anyone else see it? If so what are your thoughts?

Film Friday: BBC’s North & South

I’m a pretty big costume drama fan. There’s something about sitting down and being whisked away to the past. While the past isn’t always peaceful and beautiful as they are portrayed in these productions, it’s nice to step way from reality for a little bit.

For today’s piece I have picked the 2004 BBC version of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South; a love story of Margaret Hale, a middle class southerner who is forced to move to the northern town of Milton. Richard Armitage is John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe is Margaret Hale.