Those who would look back, unite!

November 18, 2007

Gentle reader, if you have been privileged enough to watch BBC’s North and South (I so far have not read the book, but undoubtedly that is a privilege also) you will understand my title.  Not only will you understand the title, but it will call into your mind a pair of striking blue eyes straining to see the backwards glance of a annoyingly oblivious and stubborn young woman.  Ahhh…  Anyway, North and South is a Must Watch for any woman, no matter what stage of life, or love life for that matter, she is in.  As stated above, I have not yet read the book (written by Elizabeth Gaskell) but it is next on my reading list (right after I finish The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin).  I will warn you, N&S is four hours long (a very wonderful four hours) and this four hours really should be watched ALL in a row.  This means if you have to stay up till 5 AM to finish the movie, then so be it….not that I would do anything like that.  Ahem.  Also be prepared, after watching said four hours, to sit in longing stupor for at least fifteen minutes while staring at the TV screen…which is graced with the presence of a certain mill owner…and muttering disjointed sentences containing the phrase ‘not fair’ and ‘can’t go back to reality.’  Then you might start taking pictures of you and your friends in front of the TV screen…but I wouldn’t do that either. 😉

*Note to self: add the following to Christmas list – North and South DVD, awesome N&S shirt from cafepress.com*

TO ANY WHO MAY READ THIS:  IF YOU KNOW WHERE A N&S SOUNDTRACK MAY BE BOUGHT—-PLEASE, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT AND LET ME KNOW!

After you have read and watched N&S, or at least watched it, here is a hilarious fan fiction conversation between Darcy and Thornton.  Please, resist the urge to read this if you have only read Pride and Prejudice—it will be SO much more enjoyable if you have also watched N&S!

*courtesy of foolishpassion.com*

Fitzwilliam Darcy: “All right?”

John Thornton: “I’ve been better.”

FD: “Hmmm, I know that look. You’ve got woman trouble and I bet I know of just what kind. Don’t tell me. You met a girl with more than the full complement of opinions. You then spent several weeks trying to tell yourself you didn’t like her, in spite of the fact that you were thinking about her all the time and pretty much wanted to – er – marry her without delay. You popped over to share the glad tidings and, instead of being deeply sensible of the honour and sobbing into your shirt front with gratitude, she read you a lecture about your shortcomings and started eyeing the fireirons.”

JT: “That’s exactly what happened – how did you know?”

FD: “Been there, done that, bought the cravat. There’s more. Having trodden her dainty feet all over your heart, I’ll bet the ranch she then made some crack about you being ungentlemanly.”

JT: “Oh yes – I got that off both barrels.”

FD: “Thought so. Me too. Classic ‘get-lost-you-lowlife’ tactic. I take it you exited stage right in a bigger hurry than you arrived?”

JT: “I did.”

FD: “And then your own family started getting on the case and, before you knew where you were, you’d got some funereal old bird giving you the yap about how your bride of choice was, in fact, Satan in petticoats.”

JT: “Yeah, my mother did have one or two things to say on the subject.”

FD: “I had an aunt sticking her beak in. Did your girlfriend get a visit from the old crone?”

JT: “She certainly did.”

FD: “I knew it. And did the light of your life give the old dear a flea for her trouble?”

JT: “Yep. Big time.”

FD: “Your woman-of-choice and mine aren’t sisters by any chance are they? She’s got a load of sisters, I lose count ….”

JT: “Only if her father’s a deceased ex-clergyman. Shame he’s deceased – he was a nice old boy, I really liked him.”

FD: “Not sisters then. My father-in-law is still among us. He’s a good bloke as it goes, but the mother …. don’t get me started.”

JT: “Nightmare?”

FD: “The full ticket to dreadful. All I can say is thank God there are a lot of miles and bad roads between Derbyshire and Hertfordshire. What’s your girlfriend’s old lady like?”

JT: “Dead.”

FD: “Result. How’d you manage that?”

JT: “I polluted the local climate with my factory and it aggravated her consumption. Cost me a fortune in fruit baskets before she finally shuffled off though. Never bought so many flippin’ grapes.”

FD: “So, to recap: you had the offer of your heart and mattress callously given the full frosty. I take it you’ve spent the time since being thoroughly miserable and reforming your character?”

JT: “Check on both counts. If you knew how much stew I’ve had to eat in the company of oiks just to impress her.”

FD: “I know the drill. I had to cosy up to my tenants and bribe my housekeeper to spread the word. Believe me, it’ll be worth it in the end – women lap all that stuff up. What you need now is some family crisis that you can sort out on the QT, so you can look heroic but modest with it. I had a stroke of luck in that department. The beloved’s silly cow sister ran off with a total scumbag. I strongarmed the scumbag into doing the decent thing. Cost me a packet but the dream date started to look more favourably on the old suit so it was worth every penny.”

JT: “I’m already sorted on that one thanks. There was some trouble with this girl’s brother. Never met him but he sounds like a bit of a numpty to be honest. Anyway, he landed her with a possible court appearance which made her lip wobble big time. Couldn’t have that, so I put a stop to it.”

FD: “What did she say to that?”

JT: “Not much, although she has stopped lecturing me about my moral duty every time I enter a room, so that’s a step up. I’m going to see her later this morning actually. She wants to lend me 18 grand.”

FD: “18 grand eh? Well, it’s none of my business mate, but I think you might be in there.”

JT: “I dunno. I saw her at dinner last night and she wasn’t very chatty. Looked a bit pink though.”

FD: “Well, play it by ear. See how she is this a.m. Have you got some romantic gesture up your sleeve just in case the moment presents?”

JT: “It’s not up my sleeve, it’s in my waistcoat pocket. I’ve got some roses in there that come from her hometown. She’s completely sentimental about the place.”

FD: “Impressive. If she doesn’t want to snuggle up after that I think you’ll just have to cut your losses.”

JT: “Oh well, better get going – don’t want to be late. Just one thing though …. do you think there’s any truth in the saying that if you want to know what your wife will be like in 20 years, just look at her mother?”

[Long, long pause.]

FD: “Let’s hope, for your sake and mine, that there isn’t.”

 In the words of a wise woman, “All this Austen and Bronte and Gaskell is really setting some girls up!”  …Oh, but the ride is worth the disappointment….and there is always that lingering, ‘foolish’ hope that some guy in a cravat will pop up and whisk you away.

Happy hoping,

Splendor

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