At last! New blog

I’m going to continue posting over here, but here’s my new blog: Sunward Sailing Cranes



As you can undoubtedly see on the sidebar, my name is Maggie. I have another blog, but I’ve relegated that one to more desultory subjects, like handicrafts and memes, and I intend to use this blog to write about more serious subjects, though hopefully not to commit the error condemned by G. K. Chesterton – that is, of taking literature seriously.

The blog title is drawn from Tegner’s Drapa. I chose it because C. S. Lewis, in his delightful autobiography Surprised by Joy, referred to the poem as awakening Sehnsucht, or Joy. I chose this line specifically because it is lovely and moving, and also because another favorite, “Balder the beautiful is dead, is dead” would make a rather poor blog title.

A few things about me would be in order, I suppose. I’m a Catholic, and more specifically a Catholic who believes all the teachings of the Church, and still more specifically a Catholic who prefers the Traditional Latin Mass, or the Tridentine Mass, though it’s not like I absolutely cannot stand the Novus Ordo (fortunately, since I cannot yet drive and my family goes to the Novus Ordo every Sunday and on weekdays sometimes).

I have several interests, and the primary one is reading. I tend to read lots of nineteenth century/early twentieth century literature, particularly Victorian literature, and generally English literature. I’m studying Latin, which I love, and I intend to study Greek this fall. I like knitting a lot, and I also handspin yarn on spindles, which is awesome, and eventually I’ll probably write a blog post explaining why. (Not that I’m awesome for spinning, but in itself it’s a wonderful thing to do, especially for people who work with yarn.)

I also like various other nerdy things which I’ll probably talk about. However, I think this introduction is sufficiently narcissistic, so I’ll stop here. I hope you’ll come back and read more, and leave a comment.


Downton Abbey

Hello everyone. It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it?

****Disclaimer: I am not endorsing any immoral things that are done, spoken of, or written into the TV series Downton Abbey, nor am I recommending the TV show. However, since most of my readers have probably already seen it, I might as well write about it.****

I finally watched the Downton Abbey Christmas special last night.


So Matthew and Mary are finally getting married. AT LAST. It’s about time! Initially, I thought that Mary didn’t deserve him, but then I remember that Matthew has been a whiny jerk too, so they deserve each other now. I read an article lately that confirmed that they will be married in season three.

End Spoilers.

I know that quite a few blogs have probably posted about this already, but I have some suggestions for those suffering now that season two is over. TV suggestions, that is. None of these are the same as Downton Abbey, and in my opinion a good TV show has a unique atmosphere which cannot be duplicated, but these will satisfy your appetite for English costume dramas.

1. Wives and Daughters. I highly recommend reading the book first; it is long but excellent. However, it is unfinished. The author died before tying up the ending. Happily, I quite like the ending that they wrote for the TV miniseries. Note that this features both Mrs. Crawley and Sir Richard Carlisle. I would like to point out that this actor (Iain Glen) plays a character almost exactly like Sir Richard; SPOILERS he tries to blackmail a woman into marrying him and has some lines on his love for her being greater than hers for him, if I remember correctly.

2. Pride and Prejudice. I’ve only seen the 2005 version and the 1995 version. I’m not a Keira Knightley fan, and the 1995 version is lovely. I highly recommend it. Reread the book, too.

3. Emma (the one with Gwyneth Paltrow). It’s not as good as the book, and highly compressed, but good nonetheless. Caveat: Gwyneth Paltrow is pro-abortion. I watched this on Netflix Streaming, but I don’t recommend buying it for this reason. Get it from the library if you don’t have Netflix. Actually, just get Netflix. Don’t download it illegally, either.

These are my top three recommendations. I haven’t watched all that many, but these are all very good.

However, my number one recommendation is to reread Jane Austen.