A few weeks ago, I let Dickens lead us into a very foggy and polluted London. I didn’t continue with that first chapter, but if I had, I would have led you to the equally murky civil law of Dickens’ day. There we would have first heard of the infamous law suit, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which forms the basis of the first, outer, plot of Bleak House.
In chapter two, we go out on that same bleak day but move to a far, far more fashionable part of Town where Dickens introduces us to Lady Deadlock, a woman who couldn’t move a finger without the action being reported by the fashion journalists in the leading three papers. The fashion world knew she had bored of Lincolnshire and was spending a few days in Town before crossing to Paris for a short visit. After Paris? Not even the leading fashion experts could guess.
“Smoke lowering down from the chimney pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snowflakes – gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun.”
“Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among the green aits and meadows; fog down the river, were it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping, and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city.”
London is notorious for its weather. It is in a natural bowl that holds the air, and a sea-level river runs through this bowl, pumping moist air in. Back in the 19th century, at the start of the industrial age, when every chimney emitted coal smoke, when factories lived in with the dwellings, that heavy fog was mixed with smog. And then there was the raw sewage in the streets and in the river, filling the air with their pungent tones. Not pleasant.
In late January and into early February I did a little research. Yeah, in the modern age a half hour with Google counts as “a little research” ;) OK, it was more than a half of an hour. Anyway, using several searches such as “what is the best Charles Dickens novel”, I discovered that the book that topped the most lists was Bleak House. Not just that, several people were of the opinion that to understand Charles Dickens you needed to understand Bleak House, that it was the key.
Sounds great, right? I thought so, and so did Yvette Prior. The two of us picked Bleak House for our 2022 Dickens challenge. (Last year was Little Dorrit).
Today, February 7, is Charles Dickens’ birthday. Dickens needs no introduction, though last year I filled a couple of paragraphs with introduction. And thinking back to last year, if you remember, Yvette Prior and I ran a little “Little Dorrit” challenge. The idea was to read the book before the anniversary of Dickens’ death on June 9th and then have a discussion. I ended up reading the entire book at the last minute. Oh well. But it was fun and I’m glad we did it.
In fact, it was so fun that we are repeating the challenge! No, no, no, we are not asking you to read “Little Dorrit” again! No, this year the challenge is to read “Bleak House” by the 9th of June.
When I did a search of “the best Dickens’ book” I found that many scholars give that honor to “Bleak House”, even though it is not necessarily the most popular. And, of course, it is all a matter of opinion, so a few scholars had other books as their top pick.
So, the way it works is that Yvette and I will read this book and each of us will do a post or two on it, but to make it fun we are inviting others to join in! We’d like other posts about it and discussion on our posts. The more people who participate, the better it will be.
It is a dark and cold November day. The clouds are dragging grey across the dull sky, faded dead leaves litter the ground. Even the fire doesn’t provide warmth. I need something to spark my flame. I need you.
You beckon, drawing me into the bedroom. Beneath the sheets, you cuddled in my arms, I see lovers in the vibrant clouds. The setting sun glints rainbows on the tropical waters with horses dancing in the waves. A warm breeze over the cool, majestic mountains makes me forget the forecast of snow. Waterfalls near and far pulls me more into your allure.
I search you out on a cold dark day Your agile tongue speaks in my mind I follow your elegance Dreaming with open eyes Bewitched by your tone Another land On your pages A book You
This is a double Challenge.
I decided to participate in Sadje’s What Do You See challenge, which she recently started to host. She provided the painting at the top (Painted by Jim Warren, found on Google) as this week’s prompt.
This was also written for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge. This week’s key words are Grace and Style, but only synonyms can be used. I chose a Haibun with a nonet.
I hope you enjoyed this love poem to books and reading :)
I have often said that I am a social media neophyte. I am. And, for the most part, I don’t care. However, there is one social media platform that I’d like to know more about: Goodreads. Yes, I am the only person in the entire world, perhaps the entire Universe, that does not have an account. yes, I know that’s strange. I know so very little about it…
Here is my understanding. I put down the books I want to read. I say which book I am currently reading. I check them off as I read them and rate the books. Then Goodreads recommends new books to me based on my likes. It also lets me know what people I know are reading, have read or want to read.
Trent’s World is an awards free blog. I never accept “awards”. After I had a few I did answer some of the questions circulating at the time, but haven’t felt the need to since then.
Well, sort of. Y Prior over at In the Zone nominated me for the Liebster. I’m not accepting, but I did say I might answer some or all of the questions. Since I just returned and have absolutely zero to write about, I think today is the day. Most of the questions are about books, so close enough to one of the main themes of my blog. So here goes. Continue reading →
I don’t bring it up often, but one of the reasons I started to blog is because I wrote a book. I haven’t done anything with it beyond taking it out and doing a new revision on occasion. That’s not the point. The point is since my blog is supposed to be at least in part an author’s blog, I follow quite a few bloggers that are authors. Unfortunately I haven’t read many of the books these bloggers have authored.
I woke up Tuesday morning at around 2 AM. I glanced over at the bed stand to check the time and noticed a soft glow. Sitting up to check what was happening I saw that my Kindle Paper White was on and emitting a faint white light. Reaching over I turned it off. I really didn’t give it much thought as it was too early and I was too tired. By morning I had pretty much forgotten the whole incident. Continue reading →