Caturday, vol. III: the cattening

  Today’s Caturday collection has been compiled with the assistance of my own two felines, who have been industriously wrecking the place while I work.  Thank you, Kaylee and River! Previous Caturday posts can be found here.    

Insult of the week: a crop-eared English Whig

In chapter 11, we find young Englishman Edward Waverley enjoying – or trying to enjoy – a convivial evening with his host, Baron Bradwardine, and three other Scottish companions: bailiff Duncan MacWheeble, and the pugnacious young lairds of Balmawhapple and Killancureit.  Prodigious quantities of drink are consumed, and Waverley manfully does his best to keep…

Insult of the Week: an ass and her panniers

The terminally bored aristocrat Lady Delacour, of Maria Edgeworth’s 1800 novel Belinda, declares in chapter 4 that the only reason she has made it through the last few years is her cherished enmity with her foewoman, Mrs. Luttridge: I cannot count the number of extravagant things I have done on purpose to eclipse her. We…

Image of the Week: Alice’s Appetites

This week’s image is taken from The Nursery “Alice,” – an adapted  version (for younger readers) of Lewis Carroll’s  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). The work contains a number of rich colour images by the British illustrator and cartoonist Sir John Tenniel. This famous illustration captures the moments after Alice’s journey down the rabbit hole. Anxious to find her way through a tiny…

Insult of the Week: may your constituency reject you

In chapter XI of Richard Marsh’s 1897 work of weird horror, The Beetle, narrator Sydney Atherton has discovered that his beloved childhood friend Marjorie intends to marry the politician Paul Lessingham – who is much older than Sydney (“and a wretched Radical!”).  Not to put too fine a point upon it, Sydney is unimpressed. [T]o…

Visual tropes collection of the week: Fainting and Swooning

You know, if my extensive education in feminism and gender issues has taught me anything, it’s that women of all walks of life have one thing in common: fainting at the slightest provocation.  Amirite, ladies? Of course, it’s not unheard of for a gentleman to indulge in a swoon, too – and who’s to judge? …

Image of the Week: Summer bathing and sea air

In Chapter 12 of Austen’s Emma, Mr. Woodhouse questions his daughter Isabella’s decision to spend the autumn with her children at South End and adds sea air and swimming to his list of dangerous activities. “It was an awkward business, my dear, your spending the autumn at South End instead of coming here. I never had…

The Six Most Impertinent Things Ever Said By Elizabeth Bennet

Elizabeth is one of the truly great heroines of English literature.  She has fine eyes; she’ll walk three miles of muddy countryside without fear of censure or ruined hemlines; she has tremendous chemistry with Colin Firth, and these days she’ll even put down a zombie uprising for you.  But there’s one thing that really keeps…

“A charming amusement for young people”

In Chapter 6 of Pride and Prejudice, Sir William Lucas and Mr Darcy exchange some thoughts on the merits of dancing… Sir Lucas proffers “What a charming amusement for young people this is, Mr. Darcy! There is nothing like dancing after all. I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished society.” A less than impressed…

Image of the Week: “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two”

This week’s image is taken from Thomas Hood’s “Hood’s Own: or, Laughter from Year to Year” (1855) and aptly depicts the shenanigans of Fagin’s gang in Dickens’ Oliver Twist (1838). In a humorous vignette in Chapter 10, The Artful Dodger and Charley Bates show off their pickpocketing prowess to an amused but naive  Oliver… “When the breakfast was…

Insult of the Week: “An extraordinary specimen of human fungus”

In chapter 26 of Charles Dickens’ Bleak House (1853), Mr. George Rouncewell and his assistant Phil Squod are busy preparing for a day of work in the shooting gallery when they are interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Grandfather Smallweed and his granddaughter Judy. Mr. Smallweed describes their engagement of a hackney cab for the journey and…