Search This Blog

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Forgery and Censorship

Finished The Lambs of London Friday afternoon and found it interesting. Not what I expected, but interesting. I was not familiar with William Henry Ireland, but from the beginning was making connections with Thomas Chatterton, whose name eventually came up in the novel. Since I've loved Charles Lamb's essays for a number of years, I was disappointed that his character in the novel becomes something of a foil and not a particularly charming one. Ireland, with his discoveries, proves the most interesting character (surprisingly, more interesting than Mary) . As I mentioned in an earlier post, Ireland went on to write Gothic novels which fits in nicely with the October Gothic-ness many of us have been enjoying.

Finished North by Northanger (a Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery) by Carrie Bebris and found it charming. Bebris develops characters that retain the flavor of Austen's originals in a more economical style and in the less formal setting of a newly married couple. A light read that provides a little extension into the lives of the Darcys and their associates. Another bit of Gothic connection since Austen's Northanger Abbey was meant to parody Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho.

On another note, the opera Idomeneo (music by Mozart) has been cancelled in Munich because of one scene. That. Might. Offend. And create a security threat. The opera has been performed countless times all over the world since its premiere in 1781. Now, I have to wonder if it will ever be performed again... I am offended by this censorship (even though I can certainly understand the fear of repercussions) and have to wonder where it will lead.


  1. I heard about the opera. Outrageous that they are cancelling.

    Glad to hear you like North by Northanger. I've been wanting to read it. Loved Pride and Prejudice.

  2. Interesting little quote...not worried that they might offend Christians or Buddhists but dear God lets not offend the Muslims! Ha! That's sad really. People are way too fearful about things. It is important to be safe but there's a fine line between safety and sanity. Our very lives offend the Muslims! Should we lock our doors and hide?

  3. booklogged - I remember the Rushdie situation, but things have broadened out again, and what other novels, operas, articles, etc. will be found offensive?

    I did like North by Northanger and think Bebris does a fine job taking our favorite characters into new situations.

    Carl - It really is a shame isn't it? What happens when someone is offended by some of the late-night shows? By the comedy circuit?

  4. The Lambs of London book sounds really interesting -- I love that time period and so would probably enjoy it.

  5. Dorothy, I like the period, too. And, of course, I always enjoy a look into the lives of authors and their contemporaries, even when they don't really "rise from the page." Ackroyd changed one thing that really bothered me (especially since I really could see little purpose; I mean, I can see what he was trying for, but it didn't work for me).

    Ackroyd has written several historical novels, including one about Thomas Chatterton.

  6. I never can decide whether to read mysteries that use characters from books or real authors as their slueths. I have thought about reading the Jane Austen mysteries, and I know there are countless others. I think there are even Louisa May Alcott mysteries...I may have to go and check out North by Northanger since you liked it!

  7. Stephanie Barron writes a mystery series using Jane, too, and since I read indiscriminately, I've read and enjoyed both. I liked this one better than the others, though.