20 de septiembre de 2007

The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins

On this blog and on this thead, specifically... We shall have the opportunity of sharing our thoughts and comments of "The Woman in White", which is the novel we shall be reading with our 4ths. Mine will be the first question: Who thinks that Walter Hartright stands a chance against Mr. Carton? The 5ths can join the discussion as well.
Carmen
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Resources: On the following link you will find the complete novel, which you can download for free, and some information about the author. http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/c/collins/wilkie/
Enjoy your reading!

374 comentarios:

1 – 200 de 374   Más reciente›   El más reciente»
carmen dijo...

We have already started reading the novel and have met The Woman in White, and Marian Halcome. this last one is definately a very interesting, attractive woman; She has a beautiful body and an ugly face and automatically repells the honest Mr. Hartright. She is also poor into the bargain! how many women, since Eve (who was particularly attractive, by the way), have suffered rejection because they were not handsome? and what is particularly painful for Women is that this happens currently and that´s why plastic surgeons are thriving and every day the richer. This should make us all think, not change,I´m afraid, our fantastic "Willies" are still looking at pretty girls with very little on in photos, videos,etc. doing what we saw them doing in "Happy Days"!

EOIGoya_Inglés dijo...

I'm going to paste here the comments for this topic that I found in our Welcome thread.

Carmen dijo...

carmen dijo...
Mr. Hartright DOES NOT STAND A CHANCE with Mr. Carton!!!
One is a normal man, the other is tormented yet capable of wonderful actions. I doubt that Mr. Hartright is capable of sacrifice in the way we saw Mr. Carton doing it in "A Tale.."

maría dijo...

21 de octubre de 2007 0:22
maría 4º dijo...
I can´t read the book without the dictionary!! I am dispair...,it is so difficult!!!!

29 de octubre de 2007 10:34

Dakota dijo...

Don't get obsessed with words. Just imagine it's a difficult essay in Spanish. In Spanish, you know you can skip words and still understand the main stuff. Think in terms of life situations, that could help.

Be patient. You'll get used to them as you read along.

Cheers

carmen dijo...

María, do not despair! when you start reading a proper novel in another language which is not your mother tongue we all have had this feeling of defeat; persevere, do not use the dictionary all the time. We develop such dependance that eventually we look up the words we know!try to understand the picture and after Xmas you´ll see that it gets better

Anónimo dijo...

4ºb

I was given a bit of a “Tale of Two Cities” in order to compare Mr Carton’s character with Mr Hartright.
I think that Mr Carton’s manners show a mature and realistic person without loosing his honesty. On the other hand, Mr Hartright behaves like a teenager, is not able to act as what he should be.

Nila (4th B) dijo...

Hello everybody!
I’m Nila from 4th B course. I’ve reading the Mr. Carton’s confession to Miss Manette from “A tale of two cities” and we have been suggested to compare Mr. Carton with Mr. Hartright. At first sight, and taking into account that I haven’t read the rest of the book, we could think that Mr. Carton is one of the most generous and self-sacrificing man we could ever find. Mr. Carton says –I ask for none; I am even thankful that it (Miss Manette love) cannot be-, being aware of his alcoholism and degradation.
On the other hand we have Mr. Hartright, a selfish guy who prefers the woman he loves’ unhappiness (Laura Fairlie’s misfortune), as long as having the slightest opportunity to seduce her. What an opportunist fellow!!
But if we stop to think a little bit more… Is not Mr. Carton’s attitude the eldest behavior of a despicable conqueror? He uses his ruined life on his own advantage. Will Miss Manette be able to avoid a dangerous man who proposes such a tempting challenge of saving his misguided soul? -Miss Manette asks for: Can I not save you? And Mr. Carton answers: No, Miss Manette, to none- . In general terms, women love dangerous men and they love even more saving them from the wrong track.
If Mr. Carton doesn’t want Miss Manette loves him and he is so selfless with her, why does he confess his love? Why is he begging her? Why does he crawl? Why does he want to inspire sadness? (…)There was something left in me at this time which you could deplore and pity (…) I am not worth such feeling (…) My last supplication of all (…)
And lastly, does a generous and in love man reject any opportunity to fight for his love? If my career were of that better kind that there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I would embrace any sacrifice for you.
Please Miss Manette, run away from Mr. Carton because he is more dangerous than he try to show!

Anónimo dijo...

Hello everybody! I’m Paloma from 4º G. After reading the comment written by Nila, I do not dare to write. I am not good enough. I’m afraid my comment will be a very poor and simple one compared with hers. Anyway I’ll try to do it my best .
Mr Carton loves Miss Manette without any hope and he doesn’t even want to be returned because he knows very well he doesn’t deserve her.
On the other hand, Mr Hartright also knows he doesn’t deserve Miss Fairlie and even more, his love is an inappropriate one, but he wants her .
For the first one the most important thing is HER happiness, for the second one is HIS happiness.

carmen dijo...

Nila thank you very much for such a lively, well-thought piece of work. I have greatly enjoyed reading it; you have used some very good vocabulary, effective, to the point, and educated; I like the way you have jumped from one lover to the other and back to the first..with a different point of view. The use you made of the quotations is very good and makes your comment shine. I´ve liked to see the participle clause, I see you attend lessons and are experimenting with new structures! The repetead questioning of the end conveys, extremely well, the change your opinion of Mr. Carton is undergoing.Congratulations

carmen dijo...

I have to agree with you, Paloma, in that Mr. Carton´s love is not selfish while Mr. Hartright´s is more so. Doesn´t he want the picture the anonymous letter paints of Sir Percyval to be true? He does not seem to care that this man could be dangerous for his beloved!!! Thanks and keeep contributing

carmen dijo...

Hello Anonimo! Yes, Mr. Hartright behaves like a teenager. Perhaps the next time you could tell us who you are. Thanks for contributing

Anónimo dijo...

Roberto 4ºB

I like Mrs Halcombe character having the perfect knowledge of her position in life. I mean, in spite of she's concious her half-sister is more beatiful, kindly and charming than she and has accept it and doesn't show jealousy, even she tries to do all she can to help her sister.

Carmen dijo...

Thanks for your post, Roberto. Miss Halcome is definitely a woman of personality, and on top of that a good, generous person as well.

Anónimo dijo...

Hi everyone!

I’m Jessica. 4ºG ( i can't work it without being an anonymous....)
From my reading, I have to say that I disagree with most of the previous comments.
As I see it, you tend to be very harsh with Mr. Hartright and too lenient with Mr. Carton.
I wouldn’t say that Mr. Hartright is that selfish; at the same time that I wouldn’t say that Mr.Carton is such a generous and self-sacrificing man (using Nila’s words).
I don’t know what make you think that Mr. Hartright prefers Miss Fairlie’s unhappiness, I can’t see that in the reading; though, what I definitely notice (aswering Carmen question), is that Mr. Hartright would love the picture of Sir Percyval in the letter written to be true. In fact, something in his inside says him that it might be true.
So, if we put ourselves in his place, wouldn’t you like your beloved to be aware of the fact that her fiancé is not a good person if you suspect he is not?

As for Mr. Carton, I will say that I don’t believe him completely. I don’t think a man in love could ever say, “I am even thankful that it cannot be”(referring to his love story). I see these words really insincere.

I hope I made myself clear enough. Enjoy the weekend.
xx

Anónimo dijo...

I'm Jessica again.
Sorry! What a mistake!
I wanted to say "what makeS you think...." (instead of make...)

xx

Anónimo dijo...

Jessica When I was a little girl I read "historia de dos ciudades". If I don’t badly remember (I suppose this is an absolute “Spanglish”, but, sincerely I don’t know how to say it)Well as I was saying: I think Mr Carton finally keeps his word and dies instead Lucia’s husband taking advantage of their likeness. In my opinion this is the true love, LOVE with capitals.
You didn’t understand me. I don’t think Mr Hartright prefers Miss Farlie’s unhappiness. I fact I think he is very honest and that’s really good. He is also brave confessing his low feelings. In some way I admire him for that reason, it is difficult to be sincere, mainly with yourself, and he is . That make him more human, you know, more like everyone of us. BUT... Mr Carton loves in a different way. Very little people are capable of dying for love, and Mr Carton does. He is a man, definitely “the man”. He speaks and reacts like a right man is supposed to be, but Mr Hartright don’t. In some way that I can’t explain he is weak, has a lack of manliness. I expect a man should be strong, this not means he doesn’t have feelings, but his way of reacting is not the way of Mr Hartright. It’s already very difficult to explain these things in English for me. But I hope you can understand what I mean.
By the way, forgive me, I'm Paloma.

Anónimo dijo...

Excuse me I've seen two mistakes: 1ºis supposed "to do"
2º i'ts very difficult for me to explain...
I beg your pardon.

acardenaz2004 dijo...

Hi guys!
I’m Antonio from 4ºB.
I agree with Jessica’s comment. It is difficult to say which of these men the honest one is. I think that at the end the important thing is how you behave with others and not what your feelings are. In this context, Mr. Hartright has developed a “forbidden” feeling but he has a respectful behaviour with Miss Fairlie. At the contrary, I think that Mr. Carton is not acting properly by saying his feelings with the only purpose of raising his soul. How does it Miss Manette feels like?

See you all

carmen dijo...

It´s very difficult to judge when you do not know the story; you´ll have to read "A tale of two Cities". I, who have it repeteadly, can tell you this much: he is a MAN. He has a problem with his nature and sometimes a person cannot change his character; Mr. Carton has an addictive personality and, in a way, he is a weak person. Love changes him, but only to a point. He is a very interesting study, and extremely attractive to women. I do not know if men are that attacted, but,then, it takes men a little more to understand this unselfish feeling. Thanks for the comments

carmen dijo...

Antonio, what do you expect Mr. Hartright to do?Firstly he cannot do much given that Miss Fairlie,herself quickly withdraws from him as soonas she realizes that she feels sth. too. secondly he is a bit of a weakling because his circumstances make him so. If he had ten thousand a year, like Mr. Darcy he would not withdraw, would he? You remember the film "the Swam" with Grace kelly?

Sergio dijo...

Hi everybody¡
To my mind, the position of Mr Hartright is very clear and I agree with the fact that he behaves as a teenager, but it should not surprise us. I think he "alerts" us since the beginning when says 'Remember that I was young; remember that the hand wich touched me was a woman´s'
Hartright, talking about the past (remember he is relating his past experience) admitted his 'novice' mistakes and we cannont expect from him much experience.
The situation of Mr Carton is different and again, I agree with some of the previous opinions. Although I have only read the confession given in class, I feel very strongly that he exaggerates his sorrow as a part of an strategy to force her love. He seems to be begging love, begging her attention and cares, without thinking about her feelings.
In spite of what you said, I cannot assure who is the most selfish. Let`s continue reading...

See you on Tuesday¡

dakota dijo...

Jessica, to stop appearing as Anónimo, you need to click on "Otro" just below the message box you fill in. AND THEN, you need to type in your name in the "Nombre" slot. There's no need to fill in the other slot.

Then, as usual, click on "Publicar comentario".

Best wishes

carmen dijo...

Sergio, thank for your post; after all you are wise and have decided that you want to be with those of us who are interested in learning and taking part in the activities, thanks again. Mr. carton is a little selfish because he burdens her heart with the knowledge of his own suffering, therefore you have a point. Mr. Hartright admittance of his youth is a good point, too particularly because you´ve proved it going to the text.

paloma dijo...

I didn’t want to write here today, I don’t want to be annoying but at that moment I’m terribly furious whit Miss Halcombe and, of course with the writer who make her be so stupid. I beg your pardon for the roughness of my language but I must recognise when I’m angry I am very Little British and show my feelings in the most typical Spanish way. The matter is I can’t stand people who do things without logic or sense, and in this chapter, the fourteenth one, Collins force Miss Halcombe, who previously was an intelligent woman, to think and say something really silly:
- Sir Percival Glyde shall remove that doubt, Mr Hartright – or Laura Fairlie shall never be his wife.
And previously:
- Sir Percival Glyde shall not be long in this house without satisfying Mr. Gilmore, and satisfying me. My sister’s future...etc, etc.
And how does she expect to have the explanation? Asking Sir Percival?.
Of course, if he is the man Anne describes, there is no doubt he would dire: - Oh! Yes ma’am, of course she is right and I am a perfect villainous, so evil that I locket up poor Anne Catherick in an asylum for good with actually no reason!
Please! She is supposed to be clever! Of course Sir Percival will give a satisfactory response if he is asked. Can someone doubt it?
Miss Halcombe was my favourite character in the novel so far, but I can’t understand her way of thinking in that matter. Where things so different in the 18 century? It is possible the word of a gentleman could be more valuable than your own good sense at that time? Shouldn't she investigate the whole truth by other means than asking the supposed guilty and without further investigations? We’d be fool if we relied on that in trials!

carmen dijo...

Paloma, you are absolutely right! however Marian is trying to do something about it and consider that this information given by a woman with an unclear mind, could be an invention, gossip which has affected the opinion of a lot of people!! It wasn´t easy for a woman to fight, alone at that time. Isn´t it difficult sometimes, nowadays, to obtain justice? Isn´t it difficult to establish a person´s character when you meet someone in our group of friends? How many of us are fooled by beauty, social relevance, charm and when we discover "the black heart" nobody seems to agree with you or see anything wrong? poor Marian is shocked but does not have much experience or resources to fight.

Carmen dijo...

For your next composition, find funny scenes in A Tale of Two cities the chapters : the mail and the honest tradesman. look in The pickwick papers as well. I haven´t found the book but i´ll try tomorrow in the library

Roberto 4ºB dijo...

I think, Marian keeps being very intelligent as she used to be, but now there’s new information about Sir Percival and it makes her create a doubt about everything she knew before. For this reason, she seems to be confused and in the same time, doesn’t have many ways to find out the truth.

Anónimo dijo...

Mr. Hartright gets soft when he bids Laura goodbye, and Marian too!For him parting is NOT "such sweet sorrow" (Romeo and Juliet), however it does make him feel good when he becomes aware of her weakness...and surrenders to his power of doing what he likes with her. That very revealing "For God´s sake, leave me" Do you like Shes in this attitude, Hes? Imagine the situation now and write it in the blog, you can be anonymous just for this, ok? be descriptive, and honest!

carmen dijo...

The above comment is Carmen´s. POST

paloma dijo...

Perhaps you will think what follows is a display of homespun philosophy and perhaps you are right, but in the chapter of today I’ve found something that has made me think. Have you realised how much our prejudices influence us? I explain myself: I am, I admit it, prejudiced against Sir Percival Glyde, and , on the contrary, Mr Gilmore is prejudiced in his favour. I’m looking for some evidence that prove his guilt (because he is guilty for me) and Mr Gilmore is raring to prove his innocence (because Sir Percival is innocent for him).
The episode with the dog is, for me, an evident sign about how bad Sir Percival is. Dogs have a sixth sense to know if someone is a good or a bad person. I have a dog myself, and I have been able to prove what I’m saying. Firstly Laura’s dog is afraid of the baronet, what shows obviously he isn’t a good person. Secondly even Mr Gilmore is surprised by his reaction faced with the animal’s attitude. However, the solicitor justifies him, because he needs to see him like a gentleman is supposed to be, and in this eagerness he even compare with him (no se si esta última frase está bien construida. Lo que pretendía poner es. Y en este afán llega incluso a compararse con él).
So, our prejudices are the glass through which we see things. The book never will be the same for me than for another person who thinks in a different way. And, if this happen with such a simple thing, what won’t happen in real life?

Carmen dijo...

Paloma, a good reflection. Mr. Gilmore feels there is sth wrong with Sir Percival because at the end of the chapter he says that he is every inch the gentleman,yet is not happy to draw the marriage settlement. These chapters are claustrophobic in the sense that we all feel this marriage should not take place and it will!! and nobody does anything about it!!! Help.....! and no one comes to the rescue! The dog affair is very significant; everything points an accusing finger at Sir Percival, yet he is always trying to prove that he is respectable. Trying too much, don´t you think?
The sentence you are worried about should be:"And in his eagerness he even compares himself with him".
Have you used the subjunctive in line 6 "prove" or did you forget the "s"? Careful with this mistake if it be a mistake. thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us

maria dijo...

I saw that the Laura´s dog hated Sir Percival and not Mr. Gilmore. These are small details that help to know more about the characters.
I don´t understand why Laura is thinking of give some of her possessions to Mr. Hartright... Why doesn´t she think of that she will have children?

paloma dijo...

“ISABEL”: No sé en donde publicar esto así que lo hare aquí. Todo este comentario estará en español, aunque podría escribirlo en inglés. Pero no quiero. Es mi pequeña reivindicación ante una película panfletaria y absolutamente carente del mínimo rigor histórico que ridiculiza a mi pais y a mi gente.
Tiene algunas cosas muy buenas, fruto evidente del alto presupuesto con que ha contado:La fotografía, la banda sonora y el vestuario son, en mi opinión, fantásticos. También son espectaculares las localizaciones, aunque para mi gusto tienen dos pequeños defectos: se nota demasiado que los palacios son catedrales, siendo demasiado evidente la estructura de nave de iglesia cuando se supone que están en ellos, y se ve el estilo Tudor, en el que tanto Hampton Court como Whitehall estaban construidos.
Ahí termina lo positivo.
La película está hecha “a mayor gloria” de Isabel, que incluso aparece en una escena como Juana de Arco. Su personalidad y su biografía están falseados, mostrando una imagen en exceso descafeinada de quién fue una mujer de un gran temperamento, a quien no le tembló la mano, mucho menos la voz, cuando necesitó meter a alguien en La Torre o ajusticiarlo. Y que no se privó de tener amantes a los que daba mucho más que un único beso ñoño.
Parece mentira que en la Europa unida del siglo XXI alguien haya hecho una película tan “a la americana” donde solamente la protagonista es buena y lista y los demás, incluidos los miembros de la realeza europea se su tiempo, unos papanatas. Si se hubiera titulado “Isabel de Castilla” y la hubieran hecho en la España de los primeros años 60, con Aurora Bautista de protagonista diríamos que era cine del “Nacional Catolicismo”. Este, ¿qué cine es?
Por cierto: Felipe II, como buen Austria,era rubio y de ojos azules, no negro como un tizón, y lo mismo sus hijos. Y tampoco era bajito, gangoso o zambo. Tenía, como rasgo de familia la mandíbula inferior algo prominente, pero ese detalle no le afeaba en nada. Hijo de la que fue considerada la mujer más bella de Europa, algo se parecía a su Augusta Madre La Emperatriz Isabel.
Aun más: Como norma los embajadores de España eran españoles y sabían hablar la lengua española sin acento inglés: es abominable oír al “supuesto” embajador de la película.
Tampoco los españoles somos enanos ni negros como grillos. Yo soy española de purísima cepa y soy pelirroja, y dos de mis hijos si te los encuentras en Estocolmo te diriges a ellos en sueco.
La Iglesia Española es heredera directa de los usos y costumbres del Imperio Romano, y a los romanos la barba no les gustaba demasiado. Poner a los cardenales españoles (por cierto, ¿eran tantos?)Con larguísimas barbas negras es otra memez. ¿Y qué me decís acerca de que el pobrecillo de Felipe fuese por la vida en procesión? ¿Había, realmente, tantas cruces en España?
Aparte de que estos estúpidos lugares comunes me molestaran bastante, la película me pareció lenta, más que lenta… ¡es que no pasa nada!
Los diálogos no son fluidos y a ratos se convierten en una colección de frases sueltas y altisonantes. Claro que esto es una gran ventaja si eres un alumno de inglés y vas a ver la película en versión original para practicar.
En resumen: como práctica de inglés y como espectáculo visual, excelente. Como película un bodrio.

paloma dijo...

There are three subjubtives in my pagraph,or, at least, that was what I meant:
1 - perhaps you are right (modal present)
2 - that prove (proper subjuntive)
3 - another person who thinks in a different way ( modal present)
Did I right my homework?.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

What I really don’t like about Sir Percival is that he’s too polite, trying to show kindness and good manners everytime he can. Doesn’t he to seem as insincere people making you feel a little suspicious, does he?

Carmen dijo...

I totally agree with you, Roberto, he is just too perfect... particularly if we consider that he has had a very negative report from a person who doesn´t appear to be very dangerous!
María, I think Laura feels that since her marriage is such a drama for her she does want to have children..as if that could be controlled so easily. I think she does not see herself the loving mother of his offspring, see herself conceiving children of such a faher.
Paloma, I think we are a little responsible for what other people think about us. This country of ours seems incapable of being proud of herself!!

maria dijo...

Thank you Carmen: I didn't understand the note until I have read the blog. Sorry: Thinking of GIVING!!!
It is true. I agree with you. Laura will never want to have children with Sir Percival. However, there are many men and women who are not lovers but have children... ¿ What will happen?

paloma dijo...

I was absolutely sure Sir Percival was evil. In chapter III by Mr Gilmore, this has been perfectly settled. Not only is he wicked but also cunning and crafty. I was not able to understand how the lawyer could rely on him. If this were a trial, and I (were) the public attorney, I would charged him with premeditation and treachery. Knowing Mr. Fairlie, the baronet insists in marrying Laura before she was on age. Is the way he can arrange a settlement which strips Marian of her inheritance in the event of Laura should die without children. What a great performance did him at Limeridge House!. How mercenary! Anyway, being things like that, I have a question:
He doesn’t love her, he needs her signature to obtain money and, furthermore, he needs the money. Being so artful, how far would be he capable of going to have it?. I’m afraid for poor Laura Fairlie.

marta dijo...

I´ve read yours comments and it´s really funny! Congratulations Carmen and everybody you are writing very interesting observations and you are also practising a lot you are going to do the best exams! The 5ths are lazy they say they don´t like the novel

Anónimo dijo...

Hi everybody, I have just read all your comments and I agree with you about SIR PERCIVAL GLYDE. It’s a pity that a young woman renounced happiness marrying a man who really doesn’t love her, who is only interested in her fortune. I hope that finally MR. GILMORE won’t accept what the solicitor of SIR PERCIVAL GLYDE proposes in the marriage settlement. If it is difficult nowadays to marry a man that you really know because you have been going out with him for a time and that does not guarantee that it would work, imagine a man older than Laura, who has only meet her twice. Laura’s father played a dirty trick on her making promise him on his deathbed she would marry SIR PERCIVAL GLYDE

ELENA MARTÍNEZ 4º A

Roberto 4ºB dijo...

I hope Laura, Marion and The Woman in White meet (proper/modal subj) and get strength in order to strike back and to defeat Sir Percival.

Anónimo dijo...

I am in 5th A. Compliments for your blog! You are doing a very hard work because 4th year is terrible until january, then all will be easier and you will feel structures and vocabulary will find their place in your mind and will give you peace instead of being a nightmare! Keep on! You are almost near the line!
Carmen M.

EMI dijo...

Hello FOURTH! I am Emi, an old student of Carmen´s.
I would like to encourage everybody to continue and make the effort this year.
I have been studied English for many years, but I felt that I did not progress (maybe some of you have had this kind of feelings). Despite this language being apparently easy, I did not have clear in my mind how it works. Well, last year we studied subjective. As Carmen says, subjective changes something in your mind and I do not know why, but you are going to feel that this is the last step that you need to control this language grammatically.
You should think that even English people are not aware of it and only people who really know English are able to use it. So you have to think that you are going to take part in that important and ‘wise’ English students` group.
I suggest your making the effort. It is vital that everybody should do it this year, because maybe it is the last opportunity in EOI. Do not worry if you make mistakes, because Carmen wants Spanish to be English speakers and she really knows how to do it. She is always looking for subjective in everywhere and her aim as a teacher is that, teaching English. You can think that this is a stupid conclusion, but I have to tell you being a good English teacher is very difficult and finding a good one is much more difficult.
Victor Hugo said “Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time”, so Carpe diem!

Carmen dijo...

What a good quote of Emi´s. I´m glad I can compliment someone who is French... that was a bit bitchy, sorry! I am perhaps influenced by the magazine TIME which says that French culture is dead!!!
Have you read the messages of the Fifths? Post your answers or questions, if you have any on their part of the blog the Kingsley Amis section. I hope I got the spelling right!

paloma 4º g dijo...

Oh, my God! What has Carmen done with me?
I’ve always been very fond of Reading. I used to read extremely quick and during several hours a day. As far as novel is concerned my favourite subject has always been historic novel, after that, fantastic literature and, of course, Jean Austen. Since I’m studying English, I haven’t read a line in Spanish any more, and, neither have I had enough time to read as much as I used to do. My husband (a “husband”, you know) is always telling me: “You don’t read enough, you’re always reading the same things, don’t you hate Jane Austen yet? You have to read modern English literature, on the contrary you’ll speak like a person from the, 18th century. And bla bla bla”. Last Sunday “el Mundo” brought in its supplement an article about the second part of “los Pilares de la Tierra”. The first chapter was reproduced in it and also there was a scheme of the cathedral of Vitoria which has inspired the novel. When my husband saw the article, he started again telling me that in the past I had read the novel as soon as it were published and more bla, bla, bla. Yesterday I went to the book shop and bought the book, in English, of course (World without end hasn’t been translated into Spanish yet).
After have been reading Woman in white, Pride and Prejudice, or, even Te Chronicles of Narnia, this book is extremely easy to read. BUT... What has Carmen done with me? When I was reading I realised I wasn’t only enjoying the plot, not!, I was seeing subjunctives( proper, equivalent and modal), participle clauses, and even I found a nice example of inversion in a III conditional: She would have become a priest, had she been a man. I think another further comment is useless!
Paloma, 4º G

SUSAM dijo...

Hello , Fourths!
Don't worry about subjunctive, present participle, etc.
You have the best teacher to train you to use all of them :
Carmen insists on those issues so much that , after repeating many times, you'll find it easier.
But you have to work hard, there's no other way to learn:
do the rephrasing, you'll learn useful structures, and try to use them in your compositions; read as much as possible and notice how the writer has used the subjunctive tense, or any other grammar point, and you'll improve your writing for sure.
Good luck !

maria dijo...

Thanks for the spirits, Fifths! ;) But I think that I would have to study fourth twice to be at the same level of my partners. My worse problem is that I still think in Spanish before speaking in English. I know that it is bad, but I can't avoid it! Another problem is that I don't know vocabulary. When I read the The woman in white I look for many words in the dictionary, but then I forget it...

Paloma dijo...

A piece of advice
I know it perfectly well; I’ m very much like a pain in the neck. But, Sorry, I can’t avoid it, whenever I know something I think it could be interesting for the people I’m concerned about, I need to share it. And that’s the fact now.
Do you know a magazine called Speak up? It’s a monthly one and you can choose between two different versions: with or without a film. The film from December is the Holiday. For 17, 95 Euros you can get the magazine, an audio CD,a little book with the vocabulary and comments about the film and the stars, and the film itself. The Holiday is a romantic film, very romantic indeed, but the important thing for us is that the plot is settled between L.A. and London/ Surrey. You can hear and compare the two different accents mixed together, and this is a very interesting exercise. By the way, the DVD contains the film in English and in Spanish and subtitles also in both languages and the scenes are numerated to let you find the vocabulary easily.
Of course, if you like Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law or Jack Black, you’ll enjoy the movie. And if you like romantic films this is the best.
One more thing: I told you something very funny in the section Welcome! Please read it, is the last comment and it’s about a big and funny mistake made for an English singer at Wembley.

Javier dijo...

Hello!
I am Javier, from 4º C and this is my second year in the 4th course. I am reading “The Woman in White” to improve my English and I think it is quite interesting, and easier than “A Tale of Two Cities” we had to read last year, although at the middle of the course I could not follow the classes and the Dicken’s book, because I had not enough time for all things I had to do. But the good news is that most of the people who continued with the classes and the book passed to 5th course. I hope finished the classes this year and pass to 5th.

carmen dijo...

Hello Folks, Lots of news in the blog. Susan, thanks for your compliments...you are right I do insist... Paloma, so sorry, you will grow out of this obssesion. Maria, persevere you have got much better..believe meeee!!!! and also the fifths, they are telling you all to work and you´ll see it coming KNOWLEDGE little by little step by step slowly but firmly penetrating your brain, slightly foggy at first, thick but clearing.

Roberto 4ºB dijo...

Last Thursday I tried to get Elizabeth from de Library but it was hired. There was little to choose but I find a documentary, shot by BBC, called “in search of William Shakespeare” very interesting. Although it takes me lot of time to watch and sometimes I didn’t understand what was said, is a beautiful journey about the life of the play writer. In the end, one feels like reading every play of Shakespeare’s

Carmen dijo...

Well done Roberto! I recommend Hamlet but any will do. read it in Spanish, not the same but Shakespeare is worth reading. very good the double genitive, but "a lot of" and "it is a beautiful.."

Carmen dijo...

I have today in class that Laura Fairle´s position when she wants Sir Percival to release her from her engagement is a selfish one.Break it up yourself and if you have to suffer for the rest of your life do! Do not try the easy way out: s.o. will drop me and then I can life happily ever after pining for my lost love Mr. Hartright! After all some Fairlies are selfish, so why not Laura? It runs in the family; remember Papa flew to London often in pusuit of pleasure and left wife, daughter and step-daughter in Limmeridge! Too boring for him, aren´t they?
Any comments?

Roberto 4ºB dijo...

In my opinion, Laura is behaving a little like Mr Highright, that is to say, she should choose between two ways either following her heart or facing the reality but not play with everyone around her.

Paloma 4º G dijo...

Perhaps the worst problem Laura has is she is a coward. Not only selfish but a coward. Much force of spirit is needed to go against the custom, your father’s wishes and your own given word.
It’s not easy nowadays, and I suppose it was more difficult in the eighteenth century to oppose your family’s wishes and the social conventions. In my opinion you need to be very brave to say “no, I gave my word, but this is neither what I want, not what I need to be happy. I’m sorry for my dead father, I know he wanted this marriage. I’m sorry for Ser Percival, I suppose he isn’t going to be happy, perhaps he should be angry (subjunctive equivalent) whit me or, even, he tells me (modal present) something disagreeable, but I must to be brave and to follow my own feelings”
I’m a coward myself and I know really well what I’m saying. I made a promise to my mother in law before her death. And it took me nearly fifteen years to gather enough courage to say “this is bad for me and I have to break my promise”. The more coward you are, or with less self-confidence, the more you need others to choose for you.(Acusative+infinitive)
Of course Carmen, I agree with you, the Fairlies are selfish, Laura’s father was it and her uncle is it too, but, in addition, they are very peculiar choosing whom they love: Mr. Hartraight told us Miss Halcombe was ugly, and then Mr Gilmore wrote that Marian strongly reminded him her mother. Miss Halcombe herself informed us she was poor, consequently, we can deduce that her father was also poor and couldn’t leave much money to his daughter and his wife. So Mrs Fairlie was widow, poor, with a daughter and not very pretty. Don’t you agree Mr. Fairlie was very little conventional selecting his wife?
(I'm so sorry, I don't know how underline words here, that's what I've written the subjunctives in brackets)

Carmen dijo...

I agree with you, Paloma, every word although I´m not too sure about Mrs. Fairlie´s being ugly. It was difficult to marry, let alone twice, if you were not pretty and poor.
Whatever you promised your mother in law... How could you? Should have read this novel before.
Thanks, Roberto for your comment. you know birds of a feather flock together, so perhaps there is something in what you say!

Carmen dijo...

COUNT FOSCO. four pages talking about him... what is your opinion? Mine: I would not like to have him my enemy particularly living in a house called Blackwater Park, and with no friends around! Have you noticed the puritanical attitude to fat? Do we look at people as "flesh"? Mariam dislikes obesity like anorexics, yet she feels attracted to this man; not me I admit that he has a certain control of a lot of the different people and animals appearing in the story but I cannot like him or feel attracted to him. I do not mind fat people but I admire beauty more, and sense of humour, of which Fosco doesn´t seem to have much! Has anyone connected him with Hercule Poirot? I wonder if Agatha Christie was thinking of him?

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

I think one is afraid of people like Fosco, being able to make a “control” over you, because you can’t help feeling caught by them and even you think there’s something suspiciously about, you feel enable to explain it.

Carmen dijo...

Here is dickens´ quote about a certain type of woman:"Mr. Lorry knew Miss Pross to be very jealous, but he also knew her by this time to be, beneath the surface of her eccentricity, one of those unselfish creatures--found only among women--who will, for pure love and admiration, bind themselves willing slaves, to youth when they have lost it, to beauty that they never had, to accomplishments that they were never fortunate enough to gain, to bright hopes that never shone upon their own sombre lives..." somehow I was reminded of Mariam, what do you think? ( from a tale...)

Carmen dijo...

Male characters you can read about: Mr. Rochester and St John Rivers "Jane Eyre"; Heathcliff, Edgar Linton, Hareton and Hndley Earnshaw "Wuthering Heights" ; Mr. Darcy and Mr. Collins "Pride and Prejudice"; Sir Walter Elliot "Persuasion"; Mr. Lorry, Mr. Carton, Dr. Manette, "A tale of two cities" and as many as you like. All descrptions you can get hold of are good.
A very happy holiday and may you all have a very happy, successful, New Year!!!!

Paloma dijo...

I ask to myself: Why Count Fosco remembers me Neron so strongly?

dakota dijo...

What do you think about the role of women in the novel? I heard that Wilkie Collins attempted to portray their subordination to men, but that because of his time, he was not able to overcome sexism to the point he intended, or perhaps was afraid of making a clearer statement...

A little comment about Jane Eyre. When Jean Rhys, the Dominican writer (British colonies) read that novel, she felt that Mrs Rochester has been unfairly portrayed and wrote her masterpiece, "Wide Sargasso Sea", to offer a different view (she writes about who Mrs Rochester was in childhood and before she moved to England, and this throws light over why she went crazy).

Some women writers have attempted to offer a different view on women, in dissent to traditional modes of envisaging women or to try to "make justice" in some way. Another example is Charlotte Perkins Gillman's novella "The Yellow Wallpaper", where she poses that a condition - being hysterical, as it was seen - could be the result not of women's defective nature but of the unbearable social pressure constricting women's lives).

A male writer who was successful in making some statement in favor of women (for me, a prefeminist writer) was Nathaniel Hawthorne. In his "The Scarlet Letter", the character who incarnated the motto "Be true to yourself" was the female protagonist, and that was surprising in those days -- I mean, that the morally superior being were a woman.

Paloma 4º G dijo...

Hi! I must confess you something Dakota; your English is so god and mine so poor that I usually have problems to understand what you write. I’ll try to give my opinion on this subject, although it’s very difficult for me speaking about such a problematic issue in your language. Because, you are a native isn’t it?
Anyway, Cervantes would have said, speaking through Sancho Panza: “pueden más dos tetas que dos carretas”.
In a more British way, I’ll say that always had and always will have Elisabeths Bennet and Janes; women like Anne Elliot or like her sister Mary, like Elinor Dashwood or Marianne; strong women and weak ones, intelligent and not, willing and determined or coward and indecisive. There had always been very astute women who know how to handle her men, her life and everything around hers. And also there had been others for whom the social situation or the social conventions in her living time or even their religion had been a tombstone.
I assure you, I’d like very much to be able to explain this properly in English, but I don’t know enough vocabulary or grammar. When Marian Halcombe tried in such an unfortunate way to find out the truth about Sir Percival, the letter and everything else, I was very disappointed. She could have used her intelligence in a better way, even at that time. I’m sure, Elizabeth Bennett would have reacted better than her, Sir Percival wouldn’t have beaten her.
What do you think?
Please forgive my mistakes, if I had done it very badly (I got a -4 in my last composition) please tell me it and I’ll speak with you in Spanish.
Merry Christmas.

dakota dijo...

Hahaha... well, if you are learning English at a language school in Spain and I'm a native (of two languages, a bilingual in short!) AND a linguist -- It would be really weird that you could speak better than I, don't you think? :) (eek!!!) :D

Your English is great and you shouldn't compare it to anybody's because that's useless, pointless, I'd say!

I agree with you that there have been all kinds of women. The point I might have been trying to raise is that we have only read about them through men's eyes, because women have not had the same roles as men -- they weren't allowed to study or write books -- and one of the results of that has been that we have learned about the world through male writers, mostly. (Some women managed to break those rules and express themselves.)

Unfortunately, I haven't read the novel you are reading. But I will, probably next summer. I did study the novel, though, which is kind of weird because... how can you study something you have not read! hahahah... But my mind was flying to other worlds -- what would women have written about men and women? Is this novel you are reading influenced by the fact that it is a man writing about those women, or would that be irrelevant for the picture he offers?

It's a bit late! I'm falling asleep! (Yawn!)

Have a nice holiday, keep up all that good work with your English and don't worry it, just enjoy it!!! -- you're doing more than fine! :)

Raquel dijo...

I am getting hooked by the plot of this novel. What is Count Fosco up to? Might he involve in a murder? I don't trust him.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Hi everyone and happy new year!

I have already finished the story by Marian and the plot has been turn very interesting. In some way, it remind me films of Alfred Hitchcock’s where the leader actor is surrounded by a plot against him, feeling guilty and always trying to discover the mystery besides keeping alive.

Paloma 4ºG dijo...

Coming back to my house from class today, I have been thinking about the way in which this book is written. Now, I’ve opened the Reading book and seen the comment from Roberto. I think it’s curious, we both are thinking about the same subject. But we have different opinion; the plot remembers a soap opera to me. This isn’t something bad, on the contrary, it’s god if you think that a hundred and fifty years ago there wasn’t television.
As in this kind of plays in our book there are good ones and bad ones, but as it happens in soap operas, the bad ones are really, bad. In addition there is a love history and although I have only read the book until the 2nd époque, chapter 4th ,I’m absolute sure the story will finish “well”, which is what happens in soap operas.
Yes, Roberto, there is something in The Woman In White which remembers Hitchcock but, at the same time, there is something quite different. I’m not very good at reviews and I’m not able to explain in which it lies, but I “feel” it. Last Tuesday, a mate of mine, called James, said something in class which I agree: there is very little “extra information” in the book. It can be possible that be the point. By the way, I have a question: is the behaviour of the ladies, in the novel , mainly madam Fosco’s, the usual one at that time, or it’s owing to the fact that they are ill-treated women? Because I have no doubt, Mrs Fosco is a teamed woman because she has been maltreated, perhaps in both ways, physically and psychologically, and in my view she trust her husband to get her money but she is also very frightened of him.
What do you think?

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

I think Mrs Fosco got married to Count for two reasons. Firstly, because she is one of those whoso Fosco is able to dominate with his personality. This happens to Marian and Sir Percival, too. Secondly, she knowing the power he makes over everyone, feels powerful and safety by his side.

Did I make myself understood?

maría dijo...

pleaseeeeee, where are the description of men???

Carmen dijo...

María the descriptions that you should read are posted on the 19th of december further up.
Paloma and Roberto´s comments are most interesting. Paloma, you confuse remind and remember. I think Mdme. Fosco has been tamed, literally, by the Count! How? He knows how to do it. I like what Roberto says, she feels safe! the Count knows how to speak to women and this is irresistable (read the quote about this 2nd epoch, part v) that´s how he probably conquered her.I also recommed the reading of the Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare, in Spanish, of course.
Dakota, thanks for your most interesting approach to women in the novel. I think women have had to fight their way up the ladder and this has taken us longer than men. they wanted us down at the bottom, it´s always nice to have slaves, isn´t it? but I also think that since our natures are different, women, having other interests and priorities in life, have very nicely adapted to their roles more often than we like to admit; some have suffered because they could not reach their simple objects and some because they could not do what they wanted and had to stick to those roles. What I find interesting in literature is to see how the different types coped with their circumstances and how they managed to grow up and develop. I am interested in finding out about them and thus about our natures and our minds.

Raquel 4º C dijo...

I'm still not very confident with my English, but I know I have to practice to improve it. So, here I go. I am grateful to Emi for recommending Carmen. We both share our "love" for English language and I can see how she has improved.
As far as the novel concern, we were talking about the women's sacrifice in life, and how Marian Halcombe renounces her happiness for supporting her sister's, in despite of being a clever and strong woman, who could achieve whatever she wanted. Does this happen nowadays? What do you reckon?

Raquel 4º C dijo...

Sorry, I made a mistake ( sure, more than one) it is "in spite of" being or "despite" being. I have mixed them.

nila dijo...

I agree with Carmen and Roberto about Mrs. Fosco’s feelings. She is absolutely in love with the Count, because at first sight, every woman could fell in love with Mr. Fosco, even Marian, if you remember, at the beginning, after describing the Countess she said: I am almost afraid to confess it, even to these secret pages. The man has interested me, has attracted me, has forced me to like him
That’s the key; The Count forces everybody to like him! and of course, his woman is so in love with him than she is even capable to commit an offence if it is necessary to remain together him.
Continuing with Count Fosco, Do you think Sir Percival really trusts the Count or only Sir Percival is forced because he is in his power due to the fact that the Count knows Percival’s secrets? In spite of that, sometimes it looks like if Fosco didn’t know everything about Sir Percival (as for example, he didn’t know the Anne Catherick existence). Sir Percival hides all the truth from the Count.
Count Fosco wants to help Sir Percival because of his own interest (financial interests basically) but, assuming he didn’t have these interests, do you think he would help Sir Percival? Does the Count love him (as a friend)? Do you think he would make any sacrifice for his friend? And finally, is Sir Percival running away from the Count?

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Hello Nila and everyone. I think both Fosco and Percival are hiding things each other. Sometime ago they must have been involved in suspicious act and there’s no escaping but keeping together till the business be ended. By the way, Percival seems to be more cunning that we could have imagined, for instance, we “saw” what happened related with the signature subject. Perhaps we find out in the following chapters that he is deceiving everyone. What do you thing about that?

nila dijo...

Hi Roberto (and all of you), thanks for your answer. But, do you mean both are hiding the same business or a different issue every of them? Do you think it is related to the incident where Count Fosco saved Sir Percival from the Italian criminals or it is only an alibi they tell everybody to hide the truth?

paloma dijo...

Hi Nila, Roberto and the rest. I’ve Reading your comments and I think they are really interesting. Nila I agree with you, Mme Fosco is in love whith her husband, but, in my opinion, there is something more. I’m absolutely in love with my husband but I not tamed at all. I’m not receipt orders. He is my friend and my companion in life, but he is also my enemy several times, and, of course although I admire him and always consider his point of view, hi’s not my “lord and master” as Marian says in chapter 5. I can find in Mme Fosco something which it's found in ill-treated women, the same kind of love; feeling they are inferior beings, they don’t fight and they forgive even the worst things.
As it happen with count Fosco, almost everybody likes my husband at first sight. He is nice and funny etc. BUT... I’m his wife, I clean his socks, I know him naked, both in body and mind. He can’t deceive me as count Fosco can’t deceive his wife. She must know he’s dangerous in addition to clever and friendly when “he wants to”.
About the relationship between Sir Percival and the count I think this is the one between the master and his servant. Because of his intelligence, the count is the master: his servant knows what he wants. And sir Percival, as a servant, is afraid of her master, don’t trust him and try to hide as much as he can about himself. In my opinion sir Percival is not very clever; he is only ambitious and rude.

paloma otra vez dijo...

I’ve gone to buy some bread and when I was in the street I’ve realised what is wrong in Mme Fosco: Her coldness, her silence and the fact that she never smiles. Despite of the count telling her my heaven, or my excellent wife, whether he where in love with her as she is with him, she should be happy, her eyes should lit and she should smile if not laugh. She is not happy, didn’t have a happy marriage. In addition Marian has told us she was very different when she was single, don’t you remember?

Carmen dijo...

Mdme.Fosco lives in the 19th century and women in a situation like that of mdme., were not maltreated: She is praised and flattered by her husband, and what´s more. it is done in front of others. Fosco is polite and would probably treat her well so long as she obeys him and she does. He has corrected her benaviour to suit him and she follows her lord and master. She is not happy because she is subject to jealousy, hatred, envy,which grow in her heart and this prevents her from better feelings. Fosco and Percival have a very interesting relationship, unequal in its foudations equal in its objectives; both are in pursuit of Laura´s money but Percival depends on the Count´s opinion to get it? We have now discovered that they are after something and moving towards that target. The action has started; what are we in for? this is what we will discover shortly...read on...

maría 4ºA dijo...

Mr. Fairlie is the best!! I have laughed very much reading his chapter.He is the most sensible of the characters of the novel, because he tries to move away from the problems, and he does it with much grace! Though he seems that helping costs him very much, at the bottom of his heart, he loves his niece and Miss Halcombe. Mr. Fairlie is like a young boy, who complains for everything, but at the end, he has a good heart.He says that he is better alone, but I think that it is not true...He is an adorable grumpy, don't you think?

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

What I really like concerned to Mr Fairlie is that he lives in his own world without annoying anyone and doesn’t worries at all about anything except himself. For that reason, he is not able to understand why people are keep disturbing him. How many times do we want to behave as he does in the real life?

Carmen dijo...

We always like to give our opinion and concern ourselves in the lives of others. I like what Roberto has said of Mr. Fairlie because you´ve managed to see the positive in a very negative character. Mr. Fairlie, for me, has that sort of selfish personality which prevents him from involving himself with other people unless his unconcern proves more problematic for him than action. It´s good not to meddle with other people´s lives but in case he was in charge and he neglected his duty.
I also agree with you, María, in finding Mr. Fairlie´s narrative hilarious! you positively laugh all through it.
The story is arriving at its vortex now. Keep reading and be very attentive to Fosco...

Paloma 4º G dijo...

¡Hi friends! I’m already here. I’ve been in Belgium for the last three days; the weather has been horrible, wet, windy and could. Yesterday we were in Bruges, ¡a wonderful place I assure you! anyway, it was raining the whole day and I get soaked, as a result I have a temperature today.
I’ve have had enough time to read and I’ve finished The woman in White. Don’t worry I won’t say anything about the plot, but it’s a pity I can’t make a review now, because I have a strong opinion about the novel. I have to recognise I was wrong to assume that Mme. Fosco was a psychologically ill-treated woman. For the rest, I was right in all my suppositions.
In due time, I’ll tell you my point of view about the things which happens in the book. I’m sure we will have very interesting discussions because I’m very particular and I don’t like at all find lacunae in the plot, and I’ve found several of them.
Only one more thing: I told you the book was a soap opera, now I reaffirm it. By the way, did you enjoy The Da Vinci Code? This book has strongly remembered it to me. About both I’ve got the same opinion.

Carmen dijo...

Hi Paloma, we´ve surely missed you in the blog. I´m glad you finished the book,so I conclude you´ve liked it, but I cannot agree less with you on your comparison. The Da Vinci code in the end was boring!! The plot was very poor and the conclusion absurd and unreal. All the presentation of the opus dei monk in The Da Vinci.." is false; the writter did not even bother to do any research!!! Our plot is possible, the book is well- written and some of the characters are superb. we´ll continue to talk about this when we can.

Paloma dijo...

Smith-Rosenberg (1972) explicó que la histeria del siglo XIX scansaba en conceptos culturales. La histeria prevaleció en entre mujeres blancas de la
clase media alta en los E.U. y Europa. Era rara entre los hombres y entre mujeres de clase baja. Los síntomas de la histeria incluían embotamiento de los sentidos e inmobilización de los miembros. De acuerdo con Smith-Rosenberg, esos síntomas reflejaban el ideal femenino de una persona débil y espiritual. Se esperaba que las mujeres normales de la clase media
rehuyeran el trabajo físico, no tomaran interés en los placeres corporales y evitaran la simple mención de las funciones corporales. Aún la pechuga de
pollo era eufemísticamente llamada "carne blanca", para evitar la referencia a las partes anatómicas. La joven victoriana ideal era muy delgada y débil. Su cuerpo era restringido comiendo extremadamente poco y portando corsets estrechamente atados que producían una cintura de
dieciocho pulgadas. Las mujeres victorianas normales de la clase media cultivaban la debilitación física a fin de realizar los ideales de debilidad, delicadeza, gentileza, pureza, sumisión y liberación del trabajo físico. Los síntomas debilitadores de la histeria eran sólo una ligera
exageración de los ideales femeninos de la clase media. La histeria de la clase media era aceptada con simpatía por hombres y mujeres como característica de las mujeres.
Cuando algunas mujeres de la clase trabajadora adoptaban síntomas
histéricos, éstos eran percibidos mucho más críticamente. Se les asignaba terapia ocupacional para motivar su regreso al empleo remunerativo. A las mujeres de la clase media, por lo contrario, se les daba "cura de reposo" que las limitaba a una habitación aislada y silenciosa y las privaba de
actividad. La cura de reposo sintetizaba el ideal pasivo de las mujeres de la clase media.
La histeria fue común sólo durante un siglo, desde el fin del siglo XVIII al comienzo del siglo XX. Después de la Primera Guerra Mundial, esas alteraciones motoras se desvanecieron tan rápida y misteriosamente como
surgieron. (Shorter, 1986).

Paloma dijo...

Parte de mi comentario anterior ha desaparecido, de hecho la introducción. A quí va el 2º intento:
We have been speaking this morning about the hysteria en the Victorian era. Here is a Little explanation about the subject.

maría 4º dijo...

hi! I have a lot of exams so I can't read and post all that I'd like... I'm trying not to delay my reading, but I am in despair reading that some of you have finished the novel yet. However, I don't like to go more advanced than we read in class, because we have the doubt of how the plot will continue. But I don't know if I will finish the novel in time! Anyway, today we have discovered that the Italian is the villain of the novel.Marian was very brave doing what she did, and it is a pity that she had so weak health, which is the only Victorian quality in her personality. If she was born man, something would be different.

maria desperate!! dijo...

oh! I try that my writing flows, but I think that I don't achieve my purpose!!

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Have you noticed that plainly minded and ignorant as Laura is, comparing her with Marian, always has felt uneasy about Fosco and tried to keep herself apart from him? I mean she’s the only one in the history whom the Count has not been able to take the control of her.

Roberto 4ºB dijo...

What a terrible mistake!

I put history instead of story.

I beg your pardon.

Carmen dijo...

I think Roberto is absolutely right about Laura and she has never felt any liking for the Count. She probably has this intuition which children also have and enables them to see through people. there is the possibility that the Count has not tried enough with her; after all Laura is his victim, his prey and he may not want to become attached to her.
What do you say to Foscos lesson to all of us about how to control a woman: Batter them or do not answer any of her provocations. Choose one or the other and you will always manage them. How come men do not do it? Fosco says the second one, our only choice, really, takes long and an effort.
I´m anxiously waiting for your comments!

Carmen dijo...

A most interesting post on hysteria in the 19c, Paloma, thanks. If women were weakened in that way no wonder poor Marian catches such a cold when she is wetted through on the veranda during her escapade!! I think this weakness is also present currently in the aesthetics of fashion, couture, etc. where what is valued is the anorexic model who glides listlessly and with sunken eyes down the catwalk. We have seen during our debates that this weakling, this dependant woman still appeals to the modern man.
María, keep going even if you can´t keep up with the vocabulary continue reading. You have improved a lot, are writing much better and now you need to join in more during the debates. Yes, Fosco is the villain and Percival a mere puppet in his hands. Fosco needs him as the husband of the person who has the means of providing them with the money they need. However he has some sort of code that makes him loyal to his friends. i´ve thought it was funny how he describes the pathetic situation of Percival´s secret: too many people know it and you been the fool to allow this to happen. very funny, but nothing compared with Mr. Fairlie´s narrative!! The way he tells the story in conexion with him, his commneta and explanations to the reader!! I´ve read chapters in any novel funnier than this.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

I enjoyed a lot with Mr. Fairlie´s chapter, too. It remind me the best moments in a film of Woody Allen’s or Max Brother’s. I mean everything is very surrealist and absurd making you feel funny because he is serious when acts in that way. I really like the novel.

Concerning Carmen’s question, I think the best way to get on with a woman is treat her with affection and respect without forgetting to give her as many compliments as you can.

Carmen dijo...

One thing is to get on with a woman and the other is to rule her!
Have you seen the fifths chettering away? It´s us next!!!

Anónimo dijo...

I am to start the third epoch by Mr. Hartright. I can believe what I have just read before. The plot is turning more and more intriguingly every page you read. I think it’s high time Marian and her companions take revenge of their enemies.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

It was me who did the last comment.

Carmen dijo...

I sure agree with Roberto; There is one point where you just cannot put the book down!It´s very interesting to see the point of view of the servants. the housekeeper is just amazed at some of the things that happen before her! She does not know Sir Percival as well as the reader and she is also very discreet about what she says of her master; very similar to the situation nowadays with everyone washing their employers´dirty linen on TV!!

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

I would like to write something related with the story continued by Eliza, the housekeeper at Blackwater Park. It amused me how the perception of reality can be so different depending on the person who is involved in. Elisa is a perfect example, keeping her mind blind because she believes herself as a human being whose thoughts and acts are always the correct ones. In some way, I appreciate this weakness in people, because they don’t realised and feel satisfied with their own beliefs though they are wrong, actually. I think we can find something similar in the case of Mr. Ferlie. What is your opinion?

Carmen dijo...

Why do you say it´s a weakness to believe your acts are the correct ones? One thing is to be blind to what is going on, another to act correctly and yet another one to act wrongly. Mrs.Michaelson acts correctly, inmy opinion from the point of view of a person who is employed and minds her own business. this is very English! When she finds out that she has been deceived by Sir Percival she leaves. So far she is correct; what i find in the housekeepeer is her incapability of seeing through people!! what amistake she makes with the Count! On her behalf I will say that most people make the same mistake.
Mr. fairllie, In my opinion is clever but selfish. he wants to be left alone and reasons with the reader why he should be left in peace...and he proves his point. He is a bechelor and his married relatives impose their prolblems on him!

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

I meant that there are some kind of people unable to think beyond their own perspective. This happens both to Mr. Ferlie and Mrs. Michelson. Concerning Mr. Ferlie, his selfish attitude prevents himself to think in someone else’s sentiments and focusing in Mrs. Michelson , we can observe how her “puritan” mind only judge things as something right when they are done under following right beliefs, for instance, she is uneasy about Laura’s suspicion of the Count (Mrs Michelson think of Fosco as a gentleman only due to he has been polite with her) and the nurse he has brought to care Marian (Mrs Michelson justifies Laura’s behaviour against the nurse as prejudice for being a foreigner and not because the nurse can be dangerous).

Carmen dijo...

I see what you mean. Yes Mrs. Michaelson is a puritan and likes to be guided by a code, but her real problem is her inability to see how the case stands and what jis going on around her.
Mr. Fairlie, in my opninon is capable of thinking but incapable of exertion, indolent.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

That is it. Thank you Carmen.

Now Marian, Laura and Walter are joined, I hope they have a great revenge, however I think there's still something hidden by Fosco and his party, because in my opinion Lady Glyde's death so suddendly and the scape of Anne Catheric from the asylum are both very strange.

Carmen dijo...

Remember the beginning:"What a man´s resolution can achieve"

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

I’m going to write my last comment once more trying to avoid the mistakes I made:

Now that Marian, Laura and Walter meet again, I hope they have a great revenge, however, I think the sudden death of Laura’s besides Anne’s escape from the asylum seem to happen very strangely and the Count maybe has noticed that coincidence.

Paloma 4º G dijo...

Hello! Good morning .I’ve come back again, willing to make you feel sick with my comments.
First of all I want to start speaking about the things I find strange in the book. Yesterday we did in class the chapter II from the housekeeper, and It is in the farewell from Laura to Sir Percival that I found the first incongruity (the cleft is to Carmen), Laura tells her husband (in some way) she doesn’t think to come back again to Blackwater Park, he agrees without any question, and she sees the whole thing as a normal.
If he still wants her money, as she knows, and he needs it desperately, obviously he must to do something to prevent Laura goes (subjunctive for Carmen) forever. As things are, the most logical reaction on Sir Percival side should be to tell her she is not allowed to depart without signing a kind of document giving the money to him, or that she must return to her home after the autumn( remember, she and Marian are supposed to go to Limeridge “only” to spend the autumn there). Don’t saying anything to Laura about her goodbye, Sir Percival shows he keeps something in his mind, and not very good precisely, and Laura is not surprised.
If he were willing to allow her to separate, He would have done it before. He doesn’t have the money yet. All the things he has done so far lose his sense if she leaves forever with her money. So he must be plotting something. Why Laura things she might go to Cumberland and never come back again? Doesn’t she know her husband? And, why she tells him she is thinking not to come again when she knows in that case it’s more than possible that he should forgive her to leave?
I don’t understand this girl!

Ploma's correction dijo...

Sorry my computer is crazy. It has made a misstake ( I hate autocorrection) in the second line: you can choose eother I've foud or I find. As you wish.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

My opinion concerning Paloma’s comment is the following one:
Percival is not surprised when farewell takes place because he knows that Fosco has arranged a plot against Laura besides the possibility of having her dead, remember the night when it was mentioned by Fosco. On the other hand, Laura is gone with no intention to come back again, decided to break her marriage up, come what may.

Paloma (para roberto) dijo...

Of course Roberto I agree with you, but Laura is quite stupid saying that to her husband. Knowing him as she does (his character and the necessity he has of money) the most logical thing is to think he must stop her. Preventing your enemy of your next moving is a nonsense and is dangerous as well. On the other hand Sir Percival, not stopping her, shows he has something in his mind, he also is revealing his cards; don’t you see it?. According with his previous behavior he should have stopped her or, at least, have told her she will have to come back by the end of the autumn. Both of them are doing silly things but Laura is the silliest in this case because it is she that has more to lose:
First of all she put herself at risk in saying her husband she will never can back again and second when he allows her leave free and with her money, he doesn’t get suspicious…please,!!!

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Hello Paloma, I am glad to see you again on the blog. You are right, Luara acts all the time without thinking first. Have a nice weekend. Bye!

The Bandit dijo...

Carmen, I have just sent my composition about Sir Percival Glyde to the English Department. Thank you for trusting my compositions and thank you for all your work in the Department.

paloma dijo...

Last day we were in class speaking about the last chapter in part two. I was very surprised when most of the people in my class told me that they never had thought the woman died not be Laura. I asked them: why? it is something obvious, isn't it? And they told me it wasn’t, because Laura was also ill when she left Blackwater Park.
I my opinion we must think with sense: First of all Anne told us she was dying; second, the illness of Laura is hysteria. Have you ever heard about someone dying from such disease?
I posted here several days ago what the symptom of hysteria were and why it was so common in the Victorian age, Do you remember?
If Laura is not as ill as to die, and Anne is mortally ill, and one of them dies, I think is easy to suppose the dead is Anne and no Laura.
Now think in this: if Anne is dead and she and Laura were so alike, what do you suppose it will happen. Remember we know that Sir Percival doesn’t want to kill Laura, but he still needs her money and she is legally dead. Why has he allow her to leave?

Anónimo dijo...

When I finished that chapter, I thought that Laura had meet wiht Anne before arraving London and They had changed eachother but I did not believe the woman dead was Laura. As you say, it something obvious. By reading the following chapters, it is explained with Fosco always acting before anyone else.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Hy everyone!, I wrote the last comment.

paloma dijo...

My dear Carmen: I’m a woman from the ancient school system. I studied sciences at School and did a scientific degree. I know something about Antigona, but only the general myth. I think this is not enough to write a composition or an essay, so, I must read the whole play now. What have I done to deserve this? At the beginning of the course I thought I’ll going to learn some more English, but now… I’m learning not only some more English, but also “too much English, literature, theatre, Greg Tragedies, how to do reviews… Have you got something against to let people have some rest?! When we finish this year we will be some of the most cultured people in Spain! (which, by the way, is a problem because, you know, people here is usually not like that). If next year we have a “normal” teacher, we are going to be very bored, because we are used to work as “slaves” and to learn about almost “everything”.
I hope you understand this as a joke. But, it is real!
I never thought a book could do for so many comments, analysis and discussions. Before that I only used to read, and nothing more!

maría 4º dijo...

I always like to talk about everything I read or see, and sometimes you don´t find someone to whom to speak, in English, sure.
It is strange that neither Mr Fairlie nor servants didn´t recognize Laura, in spite of the fact that she had changed.
When I watch a play in which someone disguises himself, I always recognize him, but nobody who surrounds him does that. So I think that it is fantastic, unreal, it only happens in fiction.
It would be terrible that everybody who saw you to born didn´t recognize you!

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

I think they didn’t notice she was the real Lady Glyde because the facts were against her. On the eye of the law, Laura was dead and there were several witnesses supporting her deceased. In the real world, something similar usually happens, for instance, when a person is declared guilty by a legal mean, he has only one way to proof his innocence: by means of legal proofs. No matter whether you seem to be innocent or not, you will have to demonstrate it.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

I have just finished the book. Having enjoyed it a lot, I would choose the time Marian and Laura spend in Blackwater Park as the most interesting part of the story.

paloma dijo...

Oh Carmen! I’m out of luck lately with my compositions. This afternoon I’ve been reviewing the cleft sentences and I’ve seen you told us NEVER use who instead of that in these kind of sentences. Sorry I wrote a cleft with “who” in my last composition. I found it in a book and I thought it would be something different.

Carmen dijo...

Hullo to you all! I´ve been reading all your fantastic comments and see I have a lot of catching up to do with the novel. Paloma, the cleft with who is corect but I´d rather you did not do it becuse by using "that" you avoid mistakes.Laura is silly because she is innocent, she lacks malice, therefore she does not anticipate, see the real intentions of the rest of the characters. She is literaly like a little girl.
Roberto, I am also of the opinion that the Blackwater period is by far the best in the novel; this is when we see the characters, when we have the best desriptions and the mystery gradually unfolded to us, the end is weaker. the beginnig,with the presentation of the characters is also good.
Bandit, you did the composition, not me. it´s a pleasure for me to work and so is for the rest of the Department, so long as there is a response from our pupils, otherwise there is litlle point and quite frustrating. We have to also thanks those of you who have posted comments, written the compositions, gone to the theatre and studied hard.
Paloma, I´m sorry about all the work that you´ve done this year but.... you sure have profited from it: you are wiser now.
P.S. there is more work coming!

Carmen dijo...

María, Laura is sadly changed, her face wasted, haggard, she probably looks older and less ladylike without her fine clothes. The servants have buried her nad have probably heard that Anne has taken her personality! it is more possible than you think. People believe what they see and the rest, as Roberto says you have to prove

maria luisa dijo...

I enjoyed very much, yesterday, with the lecture. Thanks Carmen, for giving us the possibility of learning much more than a language. Thanks for ringing the bell of our brains.
María Luisa – 4º C

Paloma dijo...

Sorry Carmen, but I need to have an argument with you about my last composition and Count Fosco!
I wrote this paragraph: Moreover, there is another thing that makes me like him: his love for Marian and the way in which this one is shown in the novel. You can easily see that the Count admires Marian but it is not so clear that he is in love with her. He treats his wife in a perfect honourable way and never looks at Marian showing lust, desire, or something like that. I particularly like the confession he makes of his love and the sensibility he shows towards the feelings and the merit of his wife: “Just Heaven! With what inconceivable rapidity I learnt to adore that woman. At sixty, I worshiped her with the volcanic ardour of eighteen. All the gold of my rich nature was poured hopelessly at her feet. My wife– poor angel! – my wife who adores me, got nothing but the shillings and the pennies.”
You have told me that I contradict myself with the quote. Sorry I disagree. When you are reading the novel you are not sure that Fosco is in love with Marian. The first time you, perhaps, suspect something like that is when he writes to Marian after Laura’s liberation from the asylum. Te quote is in the end of the book when everything is explained. It is in this very moment that you are told by Fosco himself he is in love. Before that you are not sure at all whether or not he loves Marian. ¿Do you mind that I need a new paragraph after “something like that”? in that case perhaps you are right. I didn’t use a full stop because I thought the quote is known to be at the end of the novel and, also, because I was still speaking about Count Fosco’s feelings toward his wife.

maría 4º dijo...

hello again to everyone! I´ve just finished the novel and I liked it a lot. The end have kept my attention and interest enough to read non-stop it. I find some chapter difficult to understand, but I think that I didn´t lose anything important. However, I don´t know yet why Laura´s father wanted her to marry Sir Percival Glyde... Is it explained in the novel?? I haven´t seen it!
How doy you like the first lecture last week?

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

What is your opinion concerning Mrs Catherick attitude maintained during her life? Do you think she has acted correctly by allowing her daughter was sent to the asylum once you have discover the reasons why she was forced to do it? In this way, I think Anne’s mother is not of so evil a character as we did in the beginning of the story.

Roberto 4ºB dijo...

I completely agree with you María. That issue has not shown clearly enough. They were supposed to be closed friends but I think nothing else is explained about the subject. There are several blank parts in the story related with the beginning of the acquaintance between Sir Percival and Laura’s Father. It might be only a mean used by the writer to introduce Percival in the story.

Roberto 4ºB dijo...

I completely agree with you María. That issue has not shown clearly enough. They were supposed to be closed friends but I think nothing else is explained about the subject. There are several blank parts in the story related with the beginning of the acquaintance between Sir Percival and Laura’s Father. It might be only a mean used by the writer to introduce Percival in the story.

maría 4º dijo...

Reading the answers of Roberto, I´ve seen a mistake in my words: "The end HAS kept my attention...", I´m sorry!
I think that Mrs. Catherick wasn´t a bad woman, however she didn´t act correctly, in my opinion. She was seduced and left by Laura´s father which made her be cold, unemotional, insensitive, with her daugther and with everyone, being incapable of loving and unfortunate, unhappy. Therefore, she was a woman who only desired the respectability of her servants and neighbours in order to live in peace. Don´t you think?

Paloma dijo...

Me vais a permitir que cometa una pedantería: escribiendo en español, voy a usar una palabra inglesa para describir la conferencia de esta tarde “superb”, lo siento pero me parece más gráfica que ninguna en español.
En segundo lugar quiero pediros perdón porque voy a cometer un pecado de soberbia, voy a disentir del conferenciante. Nos ha dicho que Marian tiene vocación misionera con su hermana. Lo siento, pero estoy en desacuerdo. Marian es fea y pobre para su clase social por consiguiente “una soltera nata”, si no vive con su hermana se queda más sola que la una, dado que no tiene a nadie más en el mundo. Por otro lado, como se ha comentado en la charla, está con su más que posible “amor”. Se pasa todo el libro haciendo de madre de su hermana, lo que, si somos un poco malos, podemos interpretar como algo hasta cierto punto egoísta, porque le confiere a ella superioridad. Recordad que le dice a Walter que no le cuente nada de Anne a Laura porque al igual que su tío es “nerviosa”. Así es ella la que “corta el bacalao”. Se pasa todo el tiempo intentando “manipular” a Laura, lo que consigue la mayor parte del tiempo, y para colmo tiene como meta en la vida quitarle a sus hijos y ocuparse ella de los niños. ¿Es una santa, o es una “bruja”?. Va tener marido (alguien que confía en ella, le consulta las decisiones importantes y es su amigo, ¡ya lo quisieran muchas esposas!), hijos y familia a costa de la pobre Laura, que, se mire por donde se mire, es la “pringada” del libro. Lo único que va a tener Laura que Marian no, es a Walter en la cama y aún eso puede ser no una ventaja sino todo lo contrario (si esto no fuera un foro serio pondría la palabra “coñazo”) después de un cierto tiempo. Si somos un poco malos, Marian es un lobo con piel de cordero, una manipuladora, que va a recoger los beneficios del trabajo de la pobre “tontita buena” de su hermana. ¡Porque es el siglo XIX! Como dice Dámaso ¿Quién se queda con qué? Marian, ella se lo queda todo.

maría 4º dijo...

hahaha, how funny is Paloma! But I also think that it is true!! If Marian was a good person and no self-interest drove her to act that way, she would have gone to the convent!
Sir Damaso, thanks for your lecture, which was really pleasant and gave us light to understand better the novel. Of course, people of English department,
thanks for your hard work with us and for us.
From now on I´ll miss our literature forum...

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

The lecture was quite amusing and as we said in class even better than the first one because Mr. Damaso added his personal thoughts and different points of view. I enjoyed especially his way of doing the speech always plainly and modestly. In addition, he embraced many different subjects like philosophy.

As far as Marian is concerned I think the role she plays is not of so complicated a character as you say. I mean she is a woman with no many chances to find love or independence (she is ugly, intelligent and poor) and for that reason she has decided to remain by her sister’s side.

Raquel 4º C dijo...

I agree with all of you, the lecture was fantastic, very interesting. I could listen to Damaso Alonso for two hours more.
As far as the novel is concerned, I think Marian does sacrifice her own life in favour of her sister's, who needs guidance for taking decisions. Don't you think Marian could find another way of life, just because she is ugly and poor? Don't forget it is the 19th century England, not Spain. It is the time of social movements.

Paloma dijo...

Remember Raquel what Damaso said: what matters in England is the one who remains that. And I suppose this was even more important in the XIX century than nowadays. What have Marian able of tent a man to marry her? She has no money at all and not properties. The only thing she has are relatively good connections, and I say “relatively” because Mr. Fairlie is not a man who should be interested in social life at all or in helping other people to achieve their goals, which is, finally, to which connections serve. Being quite ugly and poor for her social class, and with no one to introduce her to a great range of other people, and not being mixed in social life, balls, etc. she has really very few chances of getting married. And she knows it. In fact the real surprising thing is that her mother got married. We are told very few about Marian’s mother but she had to have something very special, remember that she was a widow poor and with a child, which, on the other hand justifies Mrs. Catherick’s rage. It would have been a really interesting thing to know why Mr. Philip Fairlie married his wife. Anyway, you must recognise that the Fairlie’s are quite “peculiars” all of them.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

I’d like to remark a comment made by Mr. Damaso. He explained how the characters live in their own universe and everything else seems not to exist. I completely agree with this statement and it is well reflected the time Marian and Laura spent in Blackwater Park.

Paloma dijo...

Carmen, what a terrible woman you are! You have achieved something I thought it was impossible to get! My husband has stolen my book and has taken it to his work! I can’t believe it!
Two weeks ago he saw the titles of our compositions and said to me that those weren’t really compositions, but essays able to make us think a lot and learn a lot too. You know, Miguel Angel has always been very fond of literature, in fact, when he was a teenager he used to read not only Shakespeare’s plays or El Quijote, but also La Iliada, la Odisea, la Eneida, etc. And by his free will! And he was a teenager! (at that time, I used to think that he was really repellent a guy!). Anyway, when he saw how in depth we are studying the book he felt the necessity of reading it, (I think he was envious of my doing such thoughtful things!) and started the novel. This morning I went to read the chapter about which I have to speak tomorrow in class and, my book is gone! I’ve looked for it everywhere and I haven’t been able to find it.
He is always so busy that I can’t imagine how he things get enough time to read at work, amazing!

Robertto 4ºb dijo...

Paloma I like the type of subjucntive you have used (of my doing). Very good!

Raquel 4º C dijo...

Paloma, You are very prolific. I cannot follow you, this tag is very intense and I haven't got enough time. Nevertheless, I acknowledge you (Paloma, Roberto, María, Carmen,..)are the people who maintain the blog alive with your comments and reflections.

Raquel 4º C dijo...

Sorry, I said tag instead of task.

María 4º A dijo...

Carmen, I sent the last composition yesterday to English department mail. Have you received it?????

maría dijo...

I have found the film of The woman in white!!! I will watch it this holiday!! It hasn´t neither Spanish nor English subtitles, however I won´t be lost because I know it by heart!hahaha! It´s a joke. Well, I am scared of the chosen actors, how will be they? Marian, Sir Percival, Count Fosco!! I am very curious!!I hope that I am not upset with the movie...

Carmen dijo...

First of all, I have got your composition, María. I´ll deal with your comment first:why did Phillip want Laura to marry Sir Percival? two estates united, and a title for his heirs!!!We wil always have this open for our students. Every year some of us can decide to read a novel and comment it on line; it´s up to the students to continue this as well!
Roberto, I think Mrs. Catherick was a vain,proud woman who thinks "highly" of herself and hopes to marry above her class. How does she go about this? Fornication...with no brains (!!!) means an unwanted pregnacy which starts her downfall, completed by her flirtation with no less a person than a baronet!Another mistake.She becomes acid, cold, she appears to have developed an icy shield, she is, like the knights in "The Eve.." imprisoned in her frosted mails and cannot move out of that frustrated hatred for those who have taken advantage of her.She forgets, as is usual with unintelligent, proud people that she was trying to get something out of them as well!!
Paloma, I´m happy that your husband has such a good opinion of the work we are doing with you because you are the ones doing it yourselves; and it is very good work. i still think that it is quite clear fosco and Marian have been attracted to each other. And this is very romantic,indeed.
Rachel, You are right when you say some people have kept this going on, Paloma, Roberto, María and me!! But we´ve sure had a good time! this has drawn us closer and made us wiser, personally I´m very pleased with the experience; it´s a pity that we haven´t had more people joining it with their comments.
All of you read the new post and comments please.

Carmen dijo...

READ READ READ
THINK THINK THINK
let´s give it a final push and go for it. We shall win

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

After discusing in class about Mrs. Ferlie and having read the comment posted by Paloma again, I am to explain my point of view related that issu. Yesterday, I started to listen to the audiobook one more time and could review the letter Marian read concerning the relationship between her mother and Mr. Ferlie. It is clear that Mrs. Ferlie seemed to be a charming person besides an innocent woman as her daughter Laura is and trusty person too, because when she remarks the likeness of Anne Catherick with Laura, doesn’t feel suspicious at all about the matter. She even seems not to notice the real character of her husband. Therefore, I can only imagine two possible reasons supporting the fact that a woman like this (remember Mrs. Catherick’s speech giving us as a portrait of Mrs Ferlie as a very plain woman, with a son from another marriage and being probably poor) have reached the position by the side of Philip Ferlie: He fell in love with her (you know the love is blind sometimes) or he saw a chance to have a loyal wife unconcious about “their business” and to have a wife caring their home and bringing up their children.

Raquel 4 C dijo...

It is incredible, but I`m in Norway and I`m reading the blog. Can you beleive it? Well, Mark had to work a little and I have taken advantage to read you.

A piece of advice dijo...

This morning we have been seeing the exhibition on Paseo del Prado. There are in the street some very big and beautiful sculptures made by Igor Mitoraj. The exhibition is worth seeing not only for adults but also for children, it’s a pleasure for the senses. By the way, the vertical garden is terrific, I’ve liked it very much. Perhaps it would be a good idea if you haven’t seen the exhibition yet, to go and see it.

Carmen dijo...

Hello Rachel!!!!! You must be having a wonderful time in Norway and it´s nice to see that you are thinking about us!!! Do you think the Norwayians could have written King Lear? I doubt it with someone as Haakon as the future King!!!
Roberto, Mrs. Fairllie must have had something to her if she managed to "entrap one of the handsomest men in England". In her letter she appears to be nice, entertaining (Marian has probably picked this from her mother), and she is probably better-looking than Mrs. Catherick says. It is undoubtedly very convenient for Mr. Phillip to have such a wife burried in Cumberland who receives him, every time he comes back with a broad, uncomplaining welcome!

Carmen dijo...

Thanks to whoever you are. I´m away at the moment but would like to see it very much.

paloma dijo...

I want to tell you something that made me very happy and self-confident on Friday night.
My husband and I went to have dinner in a very fashionable restaurant in Chueca, Bazar. When we arrived there, the place was full of people and there were only two tables, each for four people. We were asked to wait an hour, from nine to ten. Behind me two people arrived asking for a table for two too, as they spoke in English, I saw a great opportunity and asked them about the possibility of sharing a table for four people, so as not to wait an hour. They agree and we have dinner together. They were French and the conversation was, of course in English. But for my great pleasure they asked me to speak more slowly, because they weren’t able to understand me because of my speed when I spoke. You know, I felt a sense of power, we were four people in the table and I was the one who spoke better English, sorry, perhaps it wasn’t too fair, but it was the first time in my life that something similar happened, and I felt proud of myself and happy to be realizing how useful my work was being. I told you this not to show off but to encourage you. It is wonderful to feel like a dog with two tails. And I felt exactly like that.

maría dijo...

Congratulations Paloma!! My only contact with English people recently was in Cuba, with Canadian people and I could speak with them, in the pub, of course, where my "English" tongue FLOWS!! hahaha!
I have just watched The woman in white, and I am very displeased. Although it was really hard to see and to understand it, I can say that the film is unfaithful to the novel. There are many wrong things! One that drew my attention was that Miss Halcombe (who is called Miss Fairlie too in the movie) tried to steal something in Count Fosco´s hotel room (where the funeral of Laura was celebrating) and she was caugth, insulted and kicked out by Count Fosco!! It was impossible! It doesn´t happen in the novel, do it? What waste of time!

Raquel 4 C dijo...

Well, it`s cold outside, we have just come back from dinner and I have some time to answer you. Well, norwaigan people are quite austier and sometimes weird, I presume it is related with the climate which is very extreme but the thing that I admire in them is the fact that everybody speaks a good English, wherever you go and whoever you speak to. They are still a long way ahead of us.

paloma dijo...

Gracias María, que envidia me das Raquel, perdonad que escriba en español pero tengo mucha prisa. Cada vez que leo unpárrafo del libro saco una conclusión nueva. Acabo de leer la carta de la sra. Catherick y los capítulos soguientes y meha llamado la atención algo: Cuando Marian le cuenta a Walter lo de Fosco y el médico del manicomio, este le dice que iba de farol porque con Sir Percival muerto y la sra. Catherick viva, poco puede hacer.
Admitiendo la lógica de esta afirmación, mi pregunta és: ¿ppor qué no se le pide a la citada sra. Catherick que reivindique a Laura?
Nadie mejor que una madre para reconocer a su hija y decir que Laura no es Anne y que no ha mentido.Sencillo, fácil y barato.
Otra cosa más, ¿no os pare3ce que Walter es un cotiilla de cuidado al querer averiguar quién es el padre de Anne, cuando eso no es relevante para el caso, y le han pedido expresamente que no se mneta en la vida privada de personas que no tienen nada que ver con él? Sinceramente me recuerda al enano del "tomate".
Contestadme por favor, me interesa mucho vuestra opinión acerca de estos dos temas.
besitos.

Anónimo dijo...

Hello Raquel!!!, it is impossible to forget our English class, isn´t it?. Tomorrow I´ll go to Burgos, it is not Norway but...Enjoy yourself!!(Cristina)

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Paloma, you really enjoy trying to find mistakes in the plot. I think we must not be so interested in the credibility of the story, I mean Wilkie Collins needs to use some tricks to let the story keep going and therefore there are some elements lacking of interest for the reader. It’s something similar to the films of Alfred Hitchcock’s. He said that he needed to use what he called “MacGuffin” many times, it being an excuse to develop the plot and once it arrived to an end you discovered than the MacGuffin is nothing.

Concerning your comment, I am puzzled with the first one and I don’t know how to answer it. On the other hand, Walter wants to know who is Anne’s father because of his interest in finding out all the truth about the past of Percival and his connection between him and Anne’s side.

Paloma dijo...

As you already know, I’ve been asking myself a question lately, is Marian an Angel or, on the contrary, is she a witch? Please read this:
Pg 665, last paragraph:
Marian had prohibited (Laura) any attempt at written explanations….(to Walter)?!!!!! (remember, Laura and Walter are husband and wife, and Marian is…?)
Pg 666 3rd paragraph:
On the very chair which I used to occupy when I was at work, Marian was sitting now, with the child industriously sucking his coral upon her lap. (while Laura was looking an album)
Then Walter asks:”What in the name of Heaven has brought you here? (....)
Marian suspended the question on my lips, by telling me that…. (In the name of Heaven Who is the wife?!!!!)
As I told you before, is Marian misappropriating Laura’s rolls? It seems as if the only role of Laura as Walter’s wife were to sleep with him, and nothing more. I assure you something, if I were Laura, I never would consent such behavior.

maría dijo...

It is clear that Marian couldn´t live without controlling every situation and also Laura, who can´t avoid to seem overshadowed by Marian, despite of her wedding or her baby birth.
From the beginning of the novel I think that Marian has desires for Walter. She believes that she fits better with him than her step-sister. He is after all more a member of her class (because of their lack of wealth) than of Laura´s! At the end of the book, Marian says that she loves Walter as a brother, and this is when she has realized that Walter and Laura may marry.
Indeed, Marian binds to Walter during their investigation and their taking responsability for Laura´s sake, when their conversations are like those of a husband and a wife. I assure you that they will finally go to bed and enjoy living in Limmeridge with love and money, the money of a silly and poor Laura.
Regarding Paloma´s questions, I agree with Roberto: you must not spin on every aspect of the plot. Think about this novel was written as a serial in "All the year round", so he could make some mistakes, like the date of Laura´s journey. Thanks God there was a good friend near Collins who realized. Maybe, Paloma, you must have been near him too! ;)

maría dijo...

This is the criticism of the film that I saw the other day and which disliked me a lot.

This is the last film version of 'The Woman In White' to be released. Although made for television it's also available as a DVD. It was nominated for four BAFTA awards, and received the awards for Best Costume Design, and Best Lighting. People either love, or hate this screen version of the story. Compared to all the others that preceded it, it is one of the best. It's main problem is that over the years audiences have become more sophisticated and expect drama to accurately portray original period novels ~ an impossibility!

If this film is the best, I don´t want to see anyone else!!

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

After noticing your contempt for my dear Marian, I am under the necessity of defending this charming character. Miss Halcombe loves her sister and is able to do anything for her sake even to quarrel with Percival and Fosco in order to restore her rights and identity. It is Laura that wants Marian to remain by her side when she gets married and Marian so uncommon a personality as she has, that is to say, comparing it with the role of a woman of that epoch, has decided to stay with the one she really loves. On the other hand, Walter is glad to have Marian close him and his wife because Laura is happy and he has someone caring her, besides she has helped him to succeed in his purposes.

maría dijo...

Hey Roberto, I don´t want to pick on Marian. I adore Marian, but I don´t resigne myself thinking about Marian´s perfection. There must be something selfish in her intentions that makes her human, not nun. But of course I prefer Marian character (if either you are who have the reason or me) than Laura´s!

maría dijo...

Oh, I´ve forgotten the 's'; Marian´s character. I must write slower... Power to Marian and Fosco!

Carmen dijo...

Thanks for this very interesting discussion about our dear Marian. In my opinion Marian is a good lady who loves her sister dearly; it hasn´t ocred to her that she can try to marry or work. Ladies did not work at that time and if poor or unmarried there was little else to do but lve with a better-off sister or relative. She is,moreover, glad of this possibility. Walter is another matter. He gets the money and the property and the status but Laura is boring, let´s face it, so who is the fun? Marian, of course is the one to entertain those long evenings in Limmerige, don´t you think?
I´m very happy that you felt you were the best, it is very rewarding to see how much you have improved! You deserve it.
Rachel, good that you see how well the rest of Europe speak! We have to do work to reach that level..but we will.

Carmen dijo...

Roberto, I think that you have a point in most of what you say.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

I am reading the second epoch again, the very best part of the book in my opinion, and I have just discovered how interesting is read it again knowing what is to happen next, I mean that in a first lecture you are following the story through the role played by Marian and you only know what she knows but nothing concerning Fosco’s arrangements to succeed in his plans. Now, you can see the plot from the side of the villain and this is a very amazing situation because you feel more anxious about Marian and her sister efforts to escape from the hands of their enemies and how the Count keeps always a step ahead from Marian’s intentions.

Palo dijo...

First of all, I’ve discovered a mistake in my last post, the word never is in the wrong place, it should be between the auxiliary would and the verb consent, sorry for it, I beg your pardon.
I have a daughter who is 24, she is very fond of reading and she usually read in English as in Spanish. Her favorite book is Jane Eyre. I have another daughter who is 22 and her favorite book is also Jane Eyre. Te first one, called Blanca, read The Woman in White by her free will. The second one, called Beatriz, is reading it now because I’ve asked her to do it, since I am very interested in her opinion. Anyway, when I asked Bea to read the book, she wanted to know whether the book was an entertained one, and then Blanqui told her. “Well, it’s quite entertained and easy to read. However you will thing the women in the book are really silly, even the one supposed to be the most intelligent. You can see the novel has been written by a man. He didn’t know women at all. Marian, the most intelligent woman in the novel has nothing to do with Jane Eyre, who is a lot more clever and thinks much like a real woman does.
In the 1800s men didn’t know women, they had an image very twisted of them, and they described them very badly. Only in the novels of Jane Austen or The Brontë sisters you can find real women, who think and act as we actually do”. Do you agree with my daughter?
For me her opinion was quite interesting because it is more or less the same as mine, and I hadn’t told her it. And, on the other hand, not only she has read a lot, but also she is finishing her studies to be a doctor and she wants to be a psychiatrist. She usually understands people’s feelings and behavior better than the rest of us.

Carmen dijo...

Roberto, you have given us the best raeson for reading the novel again!!!!! How interesting to get into Fosco´s shoes!
Paloma, I think your daughter has a very good point when she says that women write better about themselves than men but I cannot agree with her if she says that men did not know women well at that time. First of all does she think they know us better now? Most are too simple to be interested in us; we are complicated and demand attention...they want to be with their friends ar watching football! Writers are a bit different. Keats used to say that the nature of a writer is a kind of universal entity that shares in everything and with everything, even with that of a Robin pecking at crumbs on his window sill. If an artist does not have thid "eye" mentioned also in the poem of the daffodils you are nothing. Wilkie Collins does understand women, for sure, wha the modern reader should try and do is understand those women and not attempt to push them into our society. We are not like them, we´ve had a differnt education and we would not act like that we have other skills...or wouldn´t we?

Blanca dijo...

Hola a todos, me llamo Blanca, soy la hija de Paloma y me ha pedido que escribiese mi opinión de Woman in White en el blog, ella la explico antes pero no era exacta así que me ha pedido que la exponga.
Es muy diferente leer las protagonistas femeninas de los libros escritos por mujeres que aquellos escritos por hombres. Creo que esto se debe en parte a cierto desconocimiento del universo femenino por parte de algunos escritores, ya que en el siglo XIX los hombres vivían y conversaban básicamente con hombres pero sobre todo a que el ideal para ellos era una mujer apocada, tímida y callada, dependiente, cursi y bastante estúpida.
Los libros escritos por mujeres son distintos (aun siendo de la misma época) si ves a sus protagonistas, puedes identificarte con ellas como mujer, puede que no actúen como tú, que te caigan mal o que no las entiendas del todo siempre pero piensan, sienten y actúan. Elizabeth Bennett, Jane Eyre, Catherine en cumbres borrascosas…
Las grandes protagonistas femeninas de la literatura son mujeres, no tontas. Elizabeth Bennet es increíble, cualquier mujer de Jane Austen lo es…pero también algunos autores masculinos describen mujeres diferentes en la misma época sin caer en el tópico ideal victoriano. Madame Bovary es odiosa, pero es una mujer de verdad, Irene Howard, junto a Holmes en uno de los libros de Conan Doyle, Beatriz en mucho ruido y pocas nueces de Shakespeare. Las mujeres se portaban diferente, pero sentían y pensaban. Tenían fuerza e ideas.
Las protagonistas de Collins son lentas, no piensan, parecen no sentir normalmente, se muestran dependientes, mansas y se dejan hacer daño voluntariamente.
Son tontas.
Collins no describió mujeres reales, describió las mujeres perfectas para él, las que querría tener a su lado. Lo que me lleva a pensar que no querría cenar con Wilkie Collins

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Welcome Blanca to our blog, I am glad to have a new opinion concerning the novel we are involved in, but I am afraid that I disagree with you. In spite of being a male and the fact that I will never be able to express how is really a woman, I think Collins embraces a wide range of woman portraits and offers an accurate description of women in that epoch. You can observe different types of characters nearly opposite to each other like Laura Ferlie, Eleanor Ferlie (the Countess), Anne Catherick, Mrs Catherick, Mrs Michelson and the most wonderful character of the novel, it being the role played by Marian Halcombe. She is intelligent, courageous and sensitive and I dare to say she could be compared with characters like Jane Eyre or Elizabeth Benet.

maría dijo...

It is true that some men knows women as well as women, writers I mean. And I think also that Collins describes women of that epoch very well. However, in the novel, the main characters are played by men, except, or course, for Marian, a brilliant woman, worthy of admiration, like, as you said, Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennet, Dashwood sisters, even lady Macbeth or Ofelia.

Paloma dijo...

Dear Roberto, since I’ve been very busy lately, I hadn’t had time to quarrel with you. But you own me “one"! It has to do with something posted by you on the blog on the 20th of March. Please read it: “Paloma, you really enjoy trying to find mistakes in the plot. I think we must not be so interested in the credibility of the story, I mean Wilkie Collins needs to use some tricks to let the story keep going and therefore there are some elements lacking of interest for the reader. It’s something similar to the films of Alfred Hitchcock’s. He said that he needed to use what he called “MacGuffin” many times, it being an excuse to develop the plot and once it arrived to an end you discovered than the MacGuffin is nothing.” Have you read it yet? Yes? Well, here comes my answer: Collins wanted his novel to be read as so many pieces of evidence, as he says in pg 9 (I): “as a judge might once have heard it, so the reader shall hear it now”. Then in the last paragraph in this page he adds: “The story here presented will be told by more than one pen, as the story of an offence against the laws is told in Court by more than one witness”. That is, the reader should be as alert to clues and discrepancies in evidence as is a jury sitting in judgement. And that is what I do. Then, why are you so angry with me? I’m only doing my work and what Collins wanted I to do. Am I doing it badly? I ask my question again: If Fosco is boasting when he threatens Marian with looking up Laura in the asylum ,and Walter admits it like that, being Sir Percival dead and having the supposed Ann Catherick a mother, why Mrs Catherick is not asked to recognise Laura as not being her daughter?

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Paloma, I beg your pardon if I were rude by writing that comment, I did not want to offend you, didn’t say you are giving your opinion wrongly and I am not angry with you at all. I am always glad to read both your notes and point of view.

Despite your comment is probably very true, I am not sure whether the writer wants us to “understand” the novel in the way that you do. I mean that it is quite more interesting discussing about the character’s behaviour and the plot itself than finding out contradictions among the facts explained through the hole story.

As far as your question is concerned, I think Mrs Catherick is not asked to recognise Laura because they need proofs clear enough, and the only chance to get them is by means of discovering the real date when Laura left Blackwater Park.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Carmen, I am really sorry. It was me that wrote the comment comparing the two lectures. What a mistake!

Paloma dijo...

My dear friend! You are so sweet! I was joking with you! I’m very, very sorry! I didn’t try to make you feel upset! My whole comment was a matter of joke, I was pretending to be serious but I was, in fact, trying to keep the blog alive. We are finishing the book and everything is already said, but, for me, the blog has been the best method, not only to learn English, but also to achieve the feeling of belonging to a group. And more than that, we have shared ideas, points of view, and, even feelings, we have spent very much time in front of our computers, sometimes, trying to write something if not very well at least with some sense, (which, by the way, was really difficult at first and it used to take me a long, long time), and other times looking for an answer to our posts. I must confess you something; I’ve written in the blog in a very selfish way, I was enjoying myself a lot. You are in a different class but we are mates, we share this blog. That’s why I don’t want the book to finish, that’s why yesterday I “quarrelled” with you. Do you understand what I meant? If you are at home every day, trying to study grammar and vocabulary and so on, most probably you’d get bored, but we can use our English, we speak to each others in the blog, we don’t need to go to class so as to practice de language, for us English is not a subject of studying, is a way of communication, which is really different. We are learning something and using it immediately. (Sorry, I’ve had a phone call from a friend of mine who is very talkative and now I don’t remember what I was trying to say). Only one more thing, forgive me and keep the blog alive, please.

paloma dijo...

Sorry, "the language". I'm always making mistakes.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Paloma it's a great relief for me
reading your last comment. Thank you for your compliments and let's keep enjoying the blog!

OLGA dijo...

Hello! My name is Olga (4º E) and this is the fist time I´ve written here!! (and I hope not the last...) I didn´t know how to write here until I saw -----COMENTARIOS---- and I clicked there!!
Well, yesterday we had to do the essay, 'The Woman in White' essay....

Good luck

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Hello Olga and welcome to the blog.

I've got a question for all of you, it being: Who is the worst and most villain in the novel? I think the Countess beyond all doubt. How can she act in the way that she does against her nieces in so perverse a way. You notice it better by reading the second epoch again because you know the plot arranged by both Fosco and her wife.

Sherlock Paloma dijo...

It’s the mystery in The Woman in White finished once finished to book? Most people would say “Yes it is; we are told everything that happened”. Great mistake!! We aren’t. Mr. Collins wanted some of us remained thinking after finishing his book. When he first published the novel, he receives a terrible review in the Times. E.I. Dallas proved that, despite the fact that he had consulted lawyers, and done a hard work of investigation, Collins had made a mistake and the dates and events described in the Second Epoch, could never have happened. The writer consciously corrected “ALL” the mistakes in his text and in his preface he tells us this has been done. Read carefully: On June 18th Laura meets Anne by the lake and Fosco tries to catch the poor girl. The following day, Laura finds a note buried by Anne who in this very day falls ill. For the sake of her, Mrs. Clements went to the lake and met Cont Fosco who went back with her to her cottage so as to provide Anne some medical care. For two days she was taking a cordial and, on the third day, Mrs. Clements and she travelled to London in the same train as Mme. Fosco, being seen of at the railway station by the count himself. Once in London, when Mrs. Clements “secured respectable lodgings in a quiet neighbourhood” she wrote “as she was engaged to do, to inform Lady Glide of the address”. Then Mrs Clements tells us something very important: “A little more than a fortnight passed and no answer came” “At the end of that time, a lady called in a cab” If you count the days it’s July 8th. Count please. Being Mrs. Clements a respectable woman we must suppose she is telling the truth. Moreover, she has no reason to lie. Now, go to the final confession of Fosco. When he speaks about what happened with Anne, he tells “Dates are of importance here (...) I have all the dates at my fingers’ ends. On Wednesday, the 24th of July, 1850, I sent my wife, in a cab, to clear Mrs. Clements out of the way”. There is a fortnight missing. What happened with Anne Catherick between July 8th and July 24th? If she wasn’t at Fosco’s we can guess his being at the Rubelles’. Died she of natural causes, or was her death because of her being kidnapped? Fosco want us to believe him as a “sensible man”. He tells us he doesn´t hurt Anne. But,this is true only to a certain extent. What has he to conceal? And most important of all, What Mrs. Collins wanted us to think about this subject? Because I thing if the whole thing had been a mistake, He would have corrected it when he corrected the rest. Why he allowed this apparent mistake to remain in the book? We must follow his plans and to think about that. I’m very impatient waiting for your answers. Please write them immediately!!

maría dijo...

Yes Roberto you has a point when you say that the Countess is a villain. She doesn´t love her nieces, she only wants Fosco to be happy... and rich.
Paloma, are you great!! I think nobody realized except for you!! When I have more time I´ll read this epoch again, because I don´t remember well what happened and I´ll also count the days. Neither Wilkie COllins nor you will stop surprising(is it well said?)!!

OLGA dijo...

Hello Paloma! Your comment is going to be very useful for me because next Monday I have to talk about chapter6, third epoch (when Mrs Claments and Anne go to London, the train station etc....). I don´t understand your doubts because I haven´t finished the book yet, although i´ve read a summarize, but it is not the same!
I agree with you that some things are not clear in the book (maybe also the fortnight you mention above) but I would need to read the whole book again! But it can take me centuries....!!
My question is, what´s the problem with Anne during that fortnight?? We don´t know where she has been spending those 2 weeks,but probably with Fosco until they take Laura.
I think the dates are all right, innit?
Please write me back if I´m wrong

Paloma dijo...

Dear Olga. We don’t know where Anne was during this time, but we know she wasn’t at Fosco’s because the cooker (or the maid, I don’t remember it well) told us that Lady Glyde arrived and immediately felt ill and never recovers again. So it’s why we must guess where she was. And we know that the Rubelles had a house in Leicester square. In addition I have read something interesting: Anne Catherick and Laura Fairlie are both so alike because they both are the image of a real person, Wilkie Collins’ mistress. When he met her he invented a new biography for her in order to conceal her low social class. Anne Catherick would be the “real” Caroline Graves, and Laura Fairlie, the invented one. Collins met Caroline for the first time at night. She dashed from a house screaming “The figure of a young and very beautiful young woman dressed in flowing white robes that shone in the moonlight. She seemed to float rather than to run….in an attitude of supplication and terror”. Caroline Graves, recently widowed with an infant daughter, said she had been held captive at the house for several months “under threats and mesmeric influence”. Fosco is a mesmerist, the rubelles are thugs, and perhaps this missing fortnight is in the book to remember the time that Caroline was captive What do you think?

Carmen dijo...

My God you sure have made comments!!!! going to have dinner and will be back.... I´m back.
Welcome to Olga 4th E. You have come in very late but there´s still time to get the feel of the blog. We are all great at posting ideas and have many. We´ve done little else for three months!
Paloma, I know your sense of humour but Roberto is right when he said that you have to enjoy the book and not be so centred in finding the mistake...though Mr. Collins set you going with those commets you have quoted. however, if you think of it, how many members of a jury really know what happened in a case? Do you remeber O.J. Simpson? He was acquitted!!!! this makes me think that they were quite blind!or fooled by the different lawyers?
Blanca, very pleased that you have joined the blog. Well I´m afraid that I cannot agree with you. the nature of an artist is special and many writers have tried to explain what it is like;Keats describes it thus "if a sparrow come before my window, I take part in its existence and pick about the gravel", which means that you are capable of understanding, going into the nature of...a common bird. Imagine, you do not have to take it thus far, any person who observes and thinks can understand another human being independently of whether he be male or female. How can you explain lady Macbeth? La Regenta? If what you say be true we would be so limited!!! Another thing is that Mr. Collins is unable to create as interesting a woman as George Eliot, but then none of his characters are that defined; on the contrary, I think that Marian is a very attractive personality who is forgotten as he becomes more interested in the plot, because this is what interests him more so than the characters themselves.
Roberto, I do think that Madame Fosco is a kind of villain,an obedient servant of her husband´s who has absolutely no initiative. She is like a robot. I would have liked to be made acquainted with her evolution as a character, from Eleanor Fairlie to Madame Fosco. Unfortunately Collins does go into characters in the way Austen does.
To you all, this has been your first novel but now you have to continue reading. When we were selling Álvaro Pombo´s novels I recommended "Contra Natura", María 4ºA bought it and she´s loved it but it is not a novel for a beginner!!

Carmen dijo...

I would like us to comment on the blog some issues:
1. How much of "King Lear" do we have in the Woman in White? This week I´ve been discussing this with my groups but perhaps we have some surprises coming up?
2. "I dearly love a laugh"(Lizzy) so let´s post funny scenes in other novels. In ours we have the brilliant narrative of Frederick Fairlie. Can you post, if not a full quote where to find it? Perhaps you could even get a photocopy and bring them to class and then we could discuss, compare, read them. That´s your work over the week-end.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Carmen would you mind whether I bring a very funny scene taken from a script?, I think it’s a very good one and it’s worth a reading. It’s from a film of Woody Allen’s, Annie Hall being my favourite one, (Carmen, you don’t like him very much, do you?

Paloma dijo...

Following Carmen’s orders, I’ve been thinking in some funny character I’ve found in literature. Of course, being myself a “fan” of Jane Austen, the first one who has come to my mind has been Mrs. Bennet, you know, I’m always trying not to be like her! I have two marriageable daughters and I know several Mr. Bingleys and Mr. Darcys and it’s very difficult to shut up and not to say something! Anyway, another very odd character of Jane Austen’s books, and very alike to Mr. Fairlie too, is Sir Elliot. These days I’m reading Persuasion again. ( After have read The Woman in White I understand English literature much better and it’s a great pleasure to be able to read and, most important, to understand my favourite book s in English.)
Sir Walter Elliot is one of the most stupid men I’ve ever met, read and judge:
“Was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for and idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one” “Vanity was the beginning and the end of Sir Walter’s Elliot’s character; vanity of person and of situation” “Few women could think more of their personal appearance than he did” “He considered the blessing of beauty as inferior only to the blessing of baronetcy; and the Sir Walter Elliot, who united these gifts, was the constant object of his warmest respect and devotion” “The Kellynch property was good, but not equal to Sir Walter’s apprehension of the state required in its possessor. While Lady Elliot lived, there had been method, moderation, and economy, which had just kept him within his income; but with her had died all such right-mindedness, and from that period he had been constantly exceeding it. It had not been possible for him to spend less; he had done nothing but what Sir Walter Elliot was imperiously called on to do” “(Elisabeth and Sir Elliot) were neither of them able to devise any means of lessening their expenses without compromising their dignity, or relinquishing their comforts in a way no to be borne.” What do you think about such a man? Of course if you want it I can write some of his words, there is not waste on them. As Mr Bennet would say: “He is a fine fellow (...) I am prodigiously proud of him, I defy even Sir Williams Lucas himself to produce a more valuable son-in-law”.

Carmen dijo...

Sir Walter Elliot is one of my favourites. He is such a snob and so proud of himself becauese of his looks and his baronetcy. But there is something in Beauty which brings disgrace.
I would have liked to be really beautiful, but I have always thought that I would not have liked it if it be not accompanied by goodness and humility. I may have been horrible, proud and ended like our friend Satan..... in Hell.
Better to be less beautiful and somewhat mediocre,learn to use your brain and to look at others, not just at yourself!

Carmen dijo...

I´ve been thinking about Beauty.
Definetely would have liked to be A BEAUTY for at least a Season.
Would like to get my own back on some people and ....
as you see all the wrong reasons!!!!
Sorry!

Sir Walter Elliot dijo...

Anne I thought you less thin in your person, in your clothes, in your cheeks,your skin, your complexion, greatly improved, clearer, fresher. Had you been using anything in particular?,Merely Gowland? no?Ha! I am surprised at that!, certainly you cannot do better than to continue as you are; you cannot be better than well;or I SHOULD RRECOMEND GOWLAND, THE CONSTANT USE OF GOWLAND,DURING THE sPRINGS MONTHS. Mrs. Clay has been using it at my recommendation, and you see what it has done for her. You see how it has carried away her freckles.

Anónimo dijo...

And it is supposed to be a man! For Heaven sake!Where is that cream selled?is it really so good? It's written in its label "since 1815?

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

WOODY ALLEN'S - ANNIE HALL (1977)

INT. THEATER LOBBY.

A lined-up crowd of ticket holders waiting to get into the theater, Alvy and Annie among them. A bum of indistinct chatter can be heard through the ensuing scene.

MAN IN LINE (Loudly to his companion right behind Alvy and Annie)
We saw the Fellini film last Tuesday. It is not one of his best. It lacks a cohesive structure. You know, you get the feeling that he's not absolutely sure what it is he wants to say. 'Course, I've always felt he was essentially a-a technical film maker. Granted, La Strada was a great film. Great in its use of negative energy more than anything else. But that simple cohesive core ...

ALVY, reacting to the man's loud monologue, starts to get annoyed, while Annie begins to read her newspaper.

ALVY (Overlapping the man's speech)
I'm-I'm-I'm gonna have a stroke.

ANNIE (Reading)
Well, stop listening to him.

MAN IN LINE (Overlapping Alvy and Annie)
You know, it must need to have had its leading from one thought to another. You know what I'm talking about?

ALVY (Sighing)
He's screaming his opinions in my ear.

MAN IN LINE
Like all that Juliet of the Spirits or Satyricon, I found it incredibly ... indulgent. You know, he really is. He's one of the most indulgent film makers. He really is-

ALVY (Overlapping)
Key word here is "indulgent."

MAN IN LINE (Overlapping)
-without getting ... well, let's put it this way ...

ALVY (To Annie, who is still reading, overlapping the man in line who is still talking)
What are you depressed about?

ANNIE
I missed my therapy. I overslept.

ALVY
How can you possibly oversleep?

ANNIE
The alarm clock.

ALVY (Gasping)
You know what a hostile gesture that is to me?

ANNIE
I know-because of our sexual problem, right?

ALVY
Hey, you ... everybody in line at the New Yorker has to know our rate of intercourse?

MAN IN LINE
- It's like Samuel Beckett, you know- I admire the technique but he doesn't ... he doesn't hit me on a gut level.

ALVY (To Annie)
I'd like to hit this guy on a gut level.

The man in line continues his speech all the while Alvy and Annie talk.

ANNIE
Stop it, Alvy!

ALVY (Wringing his hands)
Well, he's spitting on my neck! You know, he's spitting on my neck when he talks.

MAN IN LINE
And then, the most important thing of all is a comedian's vision.

ANNIE
And you know something else? You know, you're so egocentric that if I miss my therapy you can think of it in terms of how it affects you!

MAN IN LINE (Lighting a cigarette while he talks)
Gal gun-shy is what it is.

ALVY (Reacting again to the man in line)
Probably on their first date, right?

MAN IN LINE (Still going on)
It's a narrow view.

ALVY
Probably met by answering an ad in the New York Review of Books. "Thirtyish academic wishes to meet woman who's interested in Mozart, James Joyce and sodomy."

(He sighs; then to Annie)
Whatta you mean, our sexual problem?

ANNIE
Oh!

ALVY
I-I-I mean, I'm comparatively normal for a guy raised in Brooklyn.

ANNIE
Okay, I'm very sorry. My sexual problem! Okay, my sexual problem! Huh?

The man in front of them turns to look at them, then looks away.

ALVY
I never read that. That was-that was Henry James, right? Novel, uh, the sequel to Turn of the Screw? My Sexual ...

MAN IN LINE (Even louder now)
It's the influence of television. Yeah, now Marshall McLuhan deals with it in terms of it being a-a high, uh, high intensity, you understand? A hot medium ... as opposed to a ...

ALVY (More and more aggravated)
What I wouldn't give for a large sock o' horse manure.

MAN IN LINE
... as opposed to a print ...

Alvy steps forward, waving his hands in frustration, and stands facing the camera.

ALVY (Sighing and addressing the audience)
What do you do when you get stuck in a movie line with a guy like this behind you? I mean, it's just maddening!

The man in line moves toward Alvy. Both address the audience now.

MAN IN LINE
Wait a minute, why can't I give my opinion? It's a free country!

ALVY
I mean, d- He can give you- Do you hafta give it so loud? I mean, aren't you ashamed to pontificate like that? And-and the funny part of it is, M-Marshall McLuhan, you don't know anything about Marshall McLuhan's...work!

MAN IN LINE (Overlapping)
Wait a minute! Really? Really? I happen to teach a class at Columbia called "TV Media and Culture"! So I think that my insights into Mr. McLuhan-well, have a great deal of validity.

ALVY
Oh, do yuh?

MAN IN LINE
Yes.

ALVY
Well, that's funny, because I happen to have Mr. McLuhan right here. So ... so, here, just let me-I mean, all right. Come over here ... a second.

Alvy gestures to the camera which follows him and the man in line to the back of the crowded lobby. He moves over to a large stand-up movie poster and pulls Marshall McLuban from behind the poster.

MAN IN LINE
Oh.

ALVY (To McLuban)
Tell him.

MCLUHAN (To the man in line)
I hear-I heard what you were saying. You-you know nothing of my work. You mean my whole fallacy is wrong. How you ever got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing.

ALVY (To the camera)
Boy, if life were only like this!

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

and here you have the link to watch it in spanish:

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=CIJ3EUugFxw

Paloma dijo...

Roberto I must confess to being quite a strange person and I have only seen a film from Allen in my life: Scoop. I hadn’t seen this scene before and when I’ve read it I hadn’t understand where the Mr. Marshall McLuban was. So I’ve watched the scene in Spanish and I’ve found it rather absurd, I mean, perhaps if you are watching the film, it has some sense, but out of its contest it hasn’t. Was the man really there or is everything a surrealistic stuff? What are Anny and Alvin speaking about?

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Well, dear Paloma I think it’s not complicated at all. Have you ever meet or listen to someone who believes that he really knows what he’s talking about and even enjoys showing how much he knows. It has happened to me many times and Allen use it to turn the situation into a very funny one instead of being absurd and impossible in the real life. For instance, imagine you are waiting in a queue to enter in the theatre to see King Lear and a man (or a woman) behind you, is keeping discussing so strongly about what the writer wanted to express with his play and by the time you are getting upset of hearing him, you are able to introduce him Shakespeare himself to make that guy shut up. And, How does he introduce this comical scene? He does it by means of the story of Alvin and Annie, their relationship and the stages they pass till it ends. In the scene, they’re talking to each other concerning their sexual life troubles.

I don’t know whether you enjoy watching films. If it be so (correct use of subjunctive?), you must get every Woody Allen’s films, he being the very best writing scripts, comical situations in real life, relationships and the troubles about existence of the human being

I hope I have made myself understood!

Paloma dijo...

Thak you Roberto. You have!

maría 4ºA dijo...

Roberto, I agree with you, Allen is great! I have watched many films of him and it is impossible not to laugh. Where do you find the script? We could post all his films here because all are extremely funny. One of my favourite Allen´s films is "Manhattan murder mystery". I´m looking for the script too, ok?
I´ve been thinking of some funny character in English literature (in addition of wonderful Mr Fairlie), but I´m not an expert, I´m a begginer, I have read few English books and I don´t remember to have laught...
In Spanish literature I have read many funny books. I remember myself laughing in the sofa of my house with a book in my hands, but I´ve forgotten the titles!! Can you believe it? The only I remember is when my father recited some verses of Don Mendo´s revenge, by Muñoz Seca. Have you ever heard it? It´s so funny, really, I suggested you should read it if you can.
As Carmen said, Contra natura of Álvaro Pombo amazed me. It tells a great story about homosexuality. Pombo demythologizes our sight of this group (promiscuity, love for their mother...) and explain all actions and all characters marvellously. Though someone could think that he is too explicit... For me he isn´t, this fact made me believe in everything he tells. This work is pure realism.
Going to the point, in this novel there are many funny scenes. My favourite is when Allende tries to give condolences to his friend and catholic useless words only come to his mind. Carmen´s favourite is a culinary scene. I´m doing a photocopy and giving to Carmen to show it you.

Roberto 4b dijo...

The script is published in Spanish by "Fabula Tusquest" and I found it on internet by means of Google. Manhattan murder mystery is one of my favourite ones, too. Have you seen "Radio Days"?

The Woman in White is the first book I read in English, therefore, I am not able to post any funny story about an English book, however, it is curious discover that the last book I read before this one was “Pura Anarquía”, written by Woody Allen. Made as an imaginary exchange of letters between him an others characters, he tell us different situations really very killing. I will try to take the most amusing one and post it on the blog.

Have a nice day!

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Last weekend I saw a film called Big Fish on TV remembering me this blog. There’s a scene in which the main character appears surrounded by a field full of daffodils.

Here you have a link to that beautiful scene:
http://www.canadianchristianity.com/film/graphics/bigfish.jpg

Carmen dijo...

Here is my post. I had been thinking of posting Lady bracknell´s interview with Jack, but Marta has reminded me of this one which is shorter and you may not have read it:
Enter LORD GORING in evening dress with a buttonhole. He is wearing
a silk hat and Inverness cape. White-gloved, he carries a Louis
Seize cane. His are all the delicate fopperies of Fashion. One sees
that he stands in immediate relation to modern life, makes it indeed,
and so masters it. He is the first well-dressed philosopher in the
history of thought.]

LORD GORING. Got my second buttonhole for me, Phipps?

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord. [Takes his hat, cane, and cape, and presents
new buttonhole on salver.]

LORD GORING. Rather distinguished thing, Phipps. I am the only
person of the smallest importance in London at present who wears a
buttonhole.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord. I have observed that,

LORD GORING. [Taking out old buttonhole.] You see, Phipps, Fashion
is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other
people wear.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.

LORD GORING. Just as vulgarity is simply the conduct of other
people.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.

LORD GORING. [Putting in a new buttonhole.] And falsehoods the
truths of other people.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.

LORD GORING. Other people are quite dreadful. The only possible
society is oneself.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.

LORD GORING. To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance,
Phipps.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.

LORD GORING. [Looking at himself in the glass.] Don't think I quite
like this buttonhole, Phipps. Makes me look a little too old. Makes
me almost in the prime of life, eh, Phipps?

PHIPPS. I don't observe any alteration in your lordship's
appearance.

LORD GORING. You don't, Phipps?

PHIPPS. No, my lord.

LORD GORING. I am not quite sure. For the future a more trivial
buttonhole, Phipps, on Thursday evenings.

PHIPPS. I will speak to the florist, my lord. She has had a loss in
her family lately, which perhaps accounts for the lack of triviality
your lordship complains of in the buttonhole.

LORD GORING. Extraordinary thing about the lower classes in England
- they are always losing their relations.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord! They are extremely fortunate in that respect.

LORD GORING. [Turns round and looks at him. PHIPPS remains
impassive.] Hum! Any letters, Phipps?

PHIPPS. Three, my lord. [Hands letters on a salver.]

LORD GORING. [Takes letters.] Want my cab round in twenty minutes.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord. [Goes towards door.]

LORD GORING. [Holds up letter in pink envelope.] Ahem! Phipps,
when did this letter arrive?

PHIPPS. It was brought by hand just after your lordship went to the
club.
the relatinship btween these two is really funny.

Carmen dijo...

Roberto thanks for your post. It is funny, that is I can really see the situation, with the person boasting and actually meeting the artist he being a professor at Columbia University, a really good one. I will try and look at the links. You know I´m not very good with the computer, so I hope to be able to do it. However I find that no Spanish person would be discussing their sexual lives qeueing, would they? Americans are obviously different, and this is something to be taken into account, if you are ever involved with them. they say things plainly and clearly and this doesn´t mean that they want to offend us.
María, I hope you can get that photocopy, just bring the book and we will do them at the School. We can have a day of FUN and read and discuss them all.
Roberto I´ve forgotten to tell you that I like Woody Allen´s films but he has the same character, ALWAYS, and I object to his sexual life and tastes. Perhaps he has only one character because of his ego. He thinks he is so great, crazy, weird, whatever that he cannot see beyond that. I would prefer him to have a wider range of discussion. He is limited therefore he cannot be the best, he only deals with one aspect of a personality. Have I managed to put it across?
Have a nice week-end

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

I am really sorry BUT I don't agree with you, I think you have not seen other films of him. I recommend you to see "interiors" 1978. A very impressive drama.

have a nice week-end you too.

Paloma dijo...

As I told you I’m don’t know Mr. Allen’s films, so, I’m back to the literature, because it is reading that I enjoy the most. I want to post only two sentences. The first time I heard them vas at the cinema and I couldn’t stop laughing. Here it is:
Mourning-room in Algernon’s flat in Half-Moon Street. The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished. The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room. Lane is arranging afternoon tea on the table; after the music has ceased, Algernon enters.
ALGERNON: Did you heard was I was playing, Lane?
LANE: I don’t think it’s polite to listen, sir
Isn’t it wonderful? All this play it’s so funny! I had seen the films (there are two, the one from Colin Firth and the one remastered) several times but I have never read the book till yesterday and it’s much funnier to read the book than to see the films. And it is also quite easy to understand. I know many of you read it last year, if you don’t have done it, please, do it, it’s worth it. You’ll have a great time.

Anónimo dijo...

I’m so excited! When I was a little child I was given a book. It was a paperback edition with some wonderful engravings. It was my favourite book for a long, long time. I read it again and again and when my house burnt I entered the fire to save my book. I have still got it. Its Title is: El Principe Feliz / Oscar Wilde. There are five stories in it: “el Principe Feliz”, “el ruiseñor y la rosa”, “El niño estrella”, “el gigante egoísta” and “El fantasma de Canterville”. I used to think that the only one from Oscar Wilde was the first one, I was so ignorant a girl! But, despite my ignorance I was able to appreciate the beauty and the poetry in my book. Last Thursday my husband gave me a present, as usual it was a book, its title is: Oscar Wilde, The Complete Words. I read immediately The Importance of Being Earnest, and then had a look at the rest of it, and there, written in English, and wonderfully illustrated, were my Tales. It was in 1966 when I was given the book, and today, 42 years later, I’ve read my favourites stories again, but this time, in the language in which they were written. I assure you, they are much prettier in English than in Spanish. I feel like a child again, and again I’ve cried with the death of the swallow and the nightingale. I told you this because I’m happy and because, hitherto, I’ve never realised how many doors English would open to me. Studying English every day is hard many times, and boring others, but at the end of the road there is a great reward, don’t you think?Oh my Dear, how terribly twee I am!!! (sometimes)

Carmen dijo...

Paloma, The importance is funny from beginning to end! There are so many things that you can learn in that book! That´s why we do it in the third year, it is a very fine starter into literature. I´m glad you´ve liked it. Incidentally Lady Windermere´s fan and an Ideal Husband are also very good.
Robeto, I´ll try to get to that film but I´m not so good with films. Haven´t seen enough.
Anónimo, thanks for your post, it is very true that reading in English is much better than reading a translation. I love those stories, particularly the nightingale and the happy Prince. I think it is wonderful to be capable of sacrifice because of love,difficult in our world, though.

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Wilkie Collins

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