Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Emily Brontë’s masterpiece, Wuthering Heights, has been dividing audiences for nearly two centuries. Readers will either hate this book with the fire of a thousand suns or love it, there is no middle ground. Wuthering Heights is an estate on the Yorkshire Moors, a bleak and unwelcoming home, haunted by ghosts of the past. A housekeeper, Nelly Dean, tells a tale of the family who lived there before, recounting the chain of events that lead back to the present day where a brooding tyrant is now master of the house.

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A Literary Love Letter

A Literary Love Letter

There are stories to tell in every aspect of daily life, even the simplest tasks have a narrative. I am endlessly fascinated by the human psyche and the way that our minds control our entire world. Reading provides a socially acceptable outlet to try on all sorts of lives and minds. As children, we are taught that magic only exists in fairytales, but reading transports us to the past and the future, mythical worlds, far away galaxies, exotic lands, the apocalypse, and beyond. So who can really say that books are not magical objects?

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Bright Autumn Festival

Bright Autumn Festival

Bright by name, bright by nature. The picturesque Victorian township of Bright is an autumnal paradise set afire with colours of the changing season every April, offering mild sunny days and cosy evenings just perfect for a smoky wood fire, glass of red, and abundant cheese board. We travelled to Bright one week before the gala weekend, which is usually held in the final weekend of April. Good timing combined with a rainy weather forecast meant that the town was relatively quiet, making our weekend trip all the more tranquil.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

In this modern age, receiving anything by post is a rare occurrence, so you can imagine how overjoyed I was to find an invitation to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society movie premiere in my letterbox. As I ripped open the envelope I was immediately intrigued by the peculiar title and curious to find out what a potato peel pie has to do with a literary society, and what the heck is a potato peel pie? Despite the funny title, this was a gorgeous film with a huge heart. 

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Summer Picnic at Werribee Mansion

Summer Picnic at Werribee Mansion

Perfect blue skies and glorious summer sunshine is the perfect reason to dust off the picnic basket, fill it with delicious treats and take Mum on a magical mystery girls day out. The stunning Werribee Mansion was our secret destination, an Italianate grand residence built during the Victorian period. Commissioned in 1874 by wealthy Scots who planted vast orchards yielding apples, pears, plums, peaches, quinces, nuts and olives. Australia is a modern nation, so elaborate mansions are especially rare.

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Be Persuaded Regency Exhibition

Be Persuaded Regency Exhibition

To mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, the Dressing Australia – Museum of Costume is presenting a rare and wonderful exhibition bringing the era of Jane Austen to life with original items of the time. Be Persuaded features fashion, accessories and ephemera from the 18th century, rarely on display outside of major museums. Despite her fame, Jane Austen remains a mysterious figure in so many ways. This beautiful exhibition offers a glimpse into the world in which she existed, highlighting the symbolic role that fashion played in the Regency period.

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The House of Dior: 70 Years of Haute Couture

The House of Dior: 70 Years of Haute Couture

To celebrate seventy years of The House of Dior, the National Gallery of Victoria hosted an exclusive exhibition of Dior Haute Couture from 1947 to 2017. The exhibition was laid out like a timeline, beginning with the classic silhouettes and simple designs of the 1940’s all the way through to the experimental avant-garde designs of the modern era. There was a noticeable fluctuation of style as you progressed through the exhibition. From the iconic designs of Christian Dior himself, to Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano, and the first female head designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri.

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Love and Friendship

Love and Friendship

I have found the perfect Sunday afternoon film, Love and Friendship, the comical adaptation of the novella, Lady Susan. Posters for the film were plastered all over the tube on my last trip to London and as soon as I got home to Australia I beelined for the cinema. Lady Susan is one of the few works of Jane Austen that I have never actually read, so it was a beautiful treat to enter the cinema completely unsure of what to expect. Given that Lady Susan is not a particularly well known work, I was anticipating Love and Friendship to be quite dull.

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Mr Holmes

Mr Holmes

I first became acquainted with eccentric consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, when I enrolled in a Victorian Literary Culture class at university. From the very first case, A Study in Scarlet, I was immediately drawn into the murky crime-ridden streets of London, and within two years I had inhaled every single Sherlock Holmes story ever written. The Victorian era (1837 – 1901) has become synonymous with progression, innovation, and rapid social change – and the literary scene was much the same. 

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The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

Book snobs are an inevitable part of the literary community, but instead of scoffing at the choices of other readers, how about we celebrate all books that inspire people to read. Have you noticed that popular books have a habit of becoming critically unpopular once they garner too much attention? The hysteria of the Twilight series swept up even the most unlikely of bookworms? From literary beginnings came the mania of the film series, the exponential growth of teen vampire fiction, and then the backlash. Within a couple of years, Twilight went from undead to dead. 

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Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd

Yesterday I saw the new film adaptation of the classic novel by Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd. Let’s be honest, the book is always better than the film, but I actually love watching my favourite books come to life on the big screen. Film adaptations of books are notoriously disappointing because when we read the novel plays like a movie in our own head, we get to cast all of the characters and give depth and detail to every word, so it’s not entirely surprising that we often walk out of the cinema feeling frustrated with the casting or unexpected changes and omissions.

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Taking Care of Myself

Taking Care of Myself

Sometimes a long weekend spent in your own company is just what you need to fully recharge your batteries. Three days dedicated to taking care of myself – solitude, reading, cooking, writing, pampering, walks, and sleeping. Life has been hectic and after having guests in our house all summer, I am done with people. Having a few days downtime has been a blessing. I am a casebook introvert, so I find being around people for long periods of time absolutely exhausting.

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The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Turn of the Screw is perhaps the most famous ghost story ever written. To this day there are elements of this creepy tale woven into the framework of the horror genre. Gothic literature is my obsession, I love the suspense, intrigue, and mystery. The Turn of the Screw features a big haunted house, an isolated woman, beautiful yet creepy children, menacing ghosts and unexplained occurrences that leave you both perplexed and infuriated. This novella was published in 1898 at the very end of the Victorian era, yet the story itself is quite different to other stories produced at this time.

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The Real Downton Abbey

The Real Downton Abbey

Highclere Castle has become one of England’s most recognisable homes, as the real life setting and filming location of television series, Downton Abbey. I have seen every single episode of Downton and grew to love the characters, their fanciful plots, and the centrepiece at the heart of the show – the house itself. Highclere Castle is an elaborate Jacobethan style castle set upon 1,000 acres in Hampshire, England. George and Fiona Herbert are the current Lord and Lady, known more formally as the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.

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Marilyn Monroe Costume Exhibition

Marilyn Monroe Costume Exhibition

When Bendigo Art Gallery announced that glamorous costumes of Marilyn Monroe would be showcased in Australia I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see a piece of the world’s most famous blonde bombshell, in the middle of country Victoria of all places! Marilyn remains the enduring poster girl of classic Hollywood, from humble beginnings as Norma Jeane Baker to the ultimate screen siren. This beautiful exhibition, presented by Twentieth Century Fox and the Bendigo Art Gallery included 20 original costumes from some of Marilyn’s most iconic roles

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Suffragette

Suffragette

Set in 1912, Suffragette unfolds the story of Maud Watts, a young wife and mother unintentionally swept up in the women’s suffrage movement. The film is largely work of fiction blended with real historical events and figures to recreate the turbulent fight for the female vote in Great Britain. Suffragette offers a snapshot of London prior to the outbreak of the First World War when the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) actively pursued the right to vote through acts of civil disobedience, militancy and insurgency. 

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