Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Of Hobbits and things...

Dear Emily,

I love this picture that Mummy posted on facebook of you and Daddy. I have to remark that you do rather resemble a 'hobbit'-like creature in this shot- in a good way of course...

Last week, a gentleman came into the bookshop and said:-

" Have you got any interesting books?"

I said "No!" and stood up,

" Unless" I said " You find a 1760's leather bound first edition of Worsley's 'History of the Isle of Wight' with hand-tinted map which was owned by Mr Dashwood of The Mount in Yarmouth which was demolished in 1965, interesting." He did.

" Or, a Culpepper's 'Complete Herbal', leather-bound and very nice condition, a 'Biggles Flies North', oh, or perhaps a first edition 'Hobbit'? "

He stopped me at this point and bought the lot.

He did drive a hard bargain though and made me throw in a free paperback Trollope.

In this cultural pea-soup I find myself in Emily, I realised ( after being asked to read some Dickens at a 'do' this month ) that I remembered more of the TV adaptations than the books themselves.

I had fancied reading out Mr Mikawber's financial advice, and could only see Bob Hoskins as the fabulously optimistic Wilkins. Anyhow, I picked up a copy and scanned it through for the relevant passage and ended up reading it all over again.

Well Emily, they say that you teach best what you most need to learn. I ended up doing just what my last post was all about- seeing things with fresh eyes at different stages in your life- and I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

In particular I was struck by the way we are given David Copperfield's innermost thoughts; as he dwells upon the expectation of meeting new characters, the way he considers them when he meets them, and the tactful round up of compliments he delivers to them. ( i.e positively )

All this affectation of 'Genteel' Emily is just so refreshing! David Copperfield muses whilst listening to the odious Uriah Heep that he would really like to run a hot poker through him, yet mindful of the bigger picture and the sensibilities and well-being of others, his thoughtful retorts are a veritable lesson in diplomacy.

Also Emily, I hadn't remembered it being so funny! The pathos just drags you constantly into new and surprising smiles.

My wonderful acting teacher and Mentor Dorothea Alexander allowed me to find the humour in Checkov. I'm now having a Dickens LOL...

Here is a portrait of Dorothea painted by your Great-Uncle Glyn. I tried to give it to Dorothea once as a surprise present, but she dismissed it, saying it made her look old ( she was in her eighties. ) Upon sight of it, she sent me to Selfridges to buy two pots of Elizabeth Arden 'Visible Difference' night cream. So I kept it instead. I've always loved it. It was a picture of her in character as 'Frau Locker' in a series 'Touching Evil' some years ago.

Enough for now little Em. With love from your Grandma GiGi Xx

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