Daily Archives: December 28, 2012

What a waste.

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A clammy sort of coldness settled in today, with a very good chance of more rain and thunder showers tonight. I’ve had a hard time staying warm and comfortable and my FMS is flared up.

My husband’s uncle, the one he has been helping look after, had to be transported to a larger hospital in Montgomery today. It appears a stent that was put in earlier may have become infected. Thankfully his only son has come down from Ohio so everything is not longer on Benny’s shoulders.  They are broad and sturdy shoulders, but they get tired, too.

Earlier I received news that a cousin had passed away this week. Ironically, we had just been discussing Cousin the weekend before Christmas during our holiday family time together.

In his youth, Cousin was one of most handsome men I’ve ever seen. Movie star handsome. Shining blonde hair with a smile that could have been used to sell toothpaste. Think young Robert Redford. Gorgeous, smart, charming, artistically gifted just like our grandmother. So much going for him.

Then came the drugs. And the descent.

Several years ago I saw him for the first time in years. Hollow-eyed, sunken-cheeked, gaunt. Long, untidy silver-white hair and a scruffy beard. Those once-beautiful eyes were unfocused, his speech, largely a near-incoherent mumble, something a little “off” about that once dazzling smile. Where had the promising young man with the stellar good looks gone?  He looked like a street person.

Cousin was considerably older than I am and we were not close. But I cannot help but cry a little tonight as I think of that wasted life.

And I am thankful that another clever, beautiful, talented man has not chosen to waste his life in the same way.

That thought somehow gives me hope.

Guyday Friday: Hungry Like the Wolf

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Sir Guy–such intensity. Eyes dark, yet blazing with fire; the flash of those gleaming white teeth, a half-feral creature emiting a heat not quite like any other . . . beautiful, dangerous, irresistible Sir Guy.

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Possible Movie RemAkes: Swashing Some Buckles!

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OK, I freely admit it: I’d love to see Richard in period clothing again. He wears it so well. When I listen to radio dramas such as Clarissa and the Heyer audiobooks, it is so easy for me to imagine RA in frock coats and perfectly tied cravats, riding boots and snug-fitting breeches. Call me shallow; it is, indeed, a pleasant diversion.

But not only do I want to see him in such period costumes, I want to see him in action in such period costume, playing intrepid heroes.  I want to see our athletic, dashing Richard Armitage swashing some buckles, wooing lovely ladies, wielding flintlocks and rapiers with the balletic grace he brings to the role of Thorin.

The Original Hero with a Secret Identity

Before Bruce Wayne/ Batman and Don Diego de la Vega/El Zorro, there was Sir Percy Blakeney, the foppish, foolish British aristocrat who, with the help of a trusted band of fellow aristocrats, secretly helps save souls from Madame Guillotine during the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution.

The Scarlet Pimpernel, the character created by Baroness Orczy in a series of historical adventure-romances first published in 1905, is a master of disguise and escape, a formidable swordsman, quick on his feet and very clever and cunning.

By contrast, Blakeney is a dull-witted, vain, fashion-obsessed creature who takes little interest in world affairs. His beautiful wife, a French actress, Marguerite St. Just,  is unaware of her husband’s secret identity. Circumstances lead him to mistrust her; she, in turn, feels estranged from her cold, dull English husband.

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Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour in a 1982 television adaptation of Orczy’s work.

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 film)

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The story is filled with intrigue, blackmail, lust, revenge, romance, adventure and derring-do all set during a very exciting period in history. I could see Richard having great fun with the dual role, really making us believe in the dull-witted dandy Sir Percy as much as the daring, dashing hero, the Pimpernel. And there’s a sword fight!

Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon as Sir Percy and Marguerite in the 1934 Hollywood version of TSP, considered the definitive adaptation by some fans.

Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon as Sir Percy and Marguerite in the 1934 Hollywood version of TSP, considered the definitive adaptation by some fans.

A physician turned pirate

In 1922, Rafael Sabatini penned a novel entitled Captain Blood, its 17th century hero a quick-witted Irishman who had served as soldier and sailor before settling down to work as a physician in Somerset. After aiding those injured in the Monmouth Rebellion, Blood is arrested, falsely accused of treason and transported to the Caribbean island of Barbados (Jamaica in the 1935 film) to be sold off as a slave.

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The cover of the original edition of Sabatini’s Captain Blood.

Movie poster for the 1935 film version of Sabatini's novel.

Movie poster for the 1935 film version of Sabatini’s novel.

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Peter Blood (Errol Flynn) toe-to-toe with the cruel Caribbean plantation owner (Lionel Atwill).

A wicked plantation owner who purchases him soon discovers Blood’s doctoring skills and he is hired out as a physician, successfully treating the governor for gout. A relationship develops between Blood and the plantation owner’s lovely niece, Arabella, played in the 1935 film by Olivia DeHavilland.  Neither development makes Blood’s owner a happy man.

When Spanish forces attack Jamaica, Blood and other convict-slaves manage to escape. Blood goes on to capture a Spanish ship and become one of the best pirate-buccaneers of the Caribbean. He also encounters Arabella on a merchant ship and duels with a French pirate to win her.  His gentlemanly instincts prevent Blood from having his way with his “prize,” however . . .

Richard would, of course, make an incredibly dashing, charismatic pirate and would be able to out-act Errol, who was appearing in his first high-profile role. This would also be a great excuse for RA to either grow out his hair or get extensions. Because he rocks the long locks . . . and the pirate shirts . .  and those thigh-high boots.

Captain Blood (Errol Flynn) lounging with a couple of friends.

Captain Blood (Errol Flynn) lounging with fellow pirate Basil Rathbone and a friend.

FYI: The character of Peter Blood is actually based on three real-life individuals, Henry Morgan, Thomas Blood, and Henry Pitman, a doctor who was actually caught up in the rebellion, arrested and sold into slavery in Barbados, where he was captured by pirates (although unlike his fictional counterpart, he didn’t join them in their exploits).

These are just a couple of classic film roles in the historical adventure/romance genre I wouldn’t mind seeing Richard perform. A girl can dream, can’t she? 😉