August 18, 2009

Little Dorrit

I finished reading Little Dorrit last night, it was another off the large pile on my nightstand. The BBC adaptation that was on Masterpiece Theater this spring inspired me to read the book. Oh how I wish now that I had taped that series because they did such a wonderful job with it!
Dickens always amazes me with his writing. His settings, characters, and plots are amazing. Little Dorrit especially, was filled with intriguing characters--even 3/4 of the way through, new, and different people were being introduced. Someone, someday, should make a compilation of all his character sketches, it would make a very amusing read.
I especially like the description of Mr. F's Aunt, here are a few paragraphs that should entertain you.
"There was a fourth and most original figure, who also appeared before dinner. This was an amazing little old woman, with a a face like a staring wooden doll too cheap for expression, and a stiff yellow wig perched unevenly on the top of her head, as if the child who owned the doll had driven a tack through it anywhere, so that it only got fastened on. Another remarkable thing in this little old woman was, that the same child seemed to have damaged her face in two or three places with some blunt instrument in the nature of a spoon; her countenance, and particularly the tip of her nose, presenting the phenomena of several dints, generally answering to the bowl of that article. A further remarkable thing in this little old woman was, that she had no name but Mr. F's Aunt."
"The major characteristics discoverable by the stranger in Mr. F's Aunt, were extreme severity and grim taciturnity; sometimes interrupted by a propensity to offer remarks, in a deep warning voice, which, being totally uncalled for by anything said by anybody, and traceable to no association of ideas, confounded and terrified the mind."
"The Conversation still turned on the receipt of rents. Mr. F's Aunt, after regarding the company for ten minutes with a malevolent gaze, delivered the following fearful remark. 'When we lived at Henley, Barnes's gander was stole by tinkers.'"

Throughout the story Mr F's Aunt does not have a major part and could have just as easily been left out, but for some reason Dickens chose to give her a personality-no name-but character, and a very banged up face. I'm glad he did though, as it had me laughing for chapters afterward.


Elinor Dashwood said...

That was a funny description! I agree, someone should put together a compilation of his character sketches. Now THAT would be a THICK BOOK! :-D

I've heard a lot of people speak about the BBC production of "Little Dorrit" and it sounds just awesome; I've also seen pictures of the costumes which look absolutely amazing! Is the content good? I did hear of Andrew Davies messing with one of the characters but was it enough to ruin it or make it objectionable to watch at any parts? (It seems not, since so many people seem to enjoy it, but I want to make sure. I really do want to watch it; I love Dickens and I love BBC costume dramas! But I don't care much for Andrew Davies...:-/ )

Anyway, if all else fails, I need to at least get my hands on the book. :-)

Anna Kristine said...

I'm just 5 chapters into it! :) I finally splurged and bought it a couple weeks ago. Such a treat. :) Makes me happy.
Anyway...haha I love those descriptions! Mrs F's Aunt is the funniest thing! I just loved her in the movie! By the description they did a pretty good job too. ;)
Hmmm...Dicken's is brilliant isn't he?

Adelheide said...

That's nice that you bought it Anna. I had to rush through it in order to return it to the library in time. 5 other people have holds on it.

Elinor ~ I thought the content was fine. There was some discussion on whether the characters of Mrs. Wade and Tattycorum were were having some sort of strange relationship, but I did not get that impression while watching it. After reading the book I realized that the relationship Dickens made between them was of an extremely derranged woman (Mrs. Wade) and a very dependant girl (Tattycorum. In the end of the book Tattycorum realizes the bad influence Mrs. Wade has over her and leaves her household. The movie doesn't include this ending to the relationship.

Elinor Dashwood said...

Oh GOOD!!!! I'll have to tell my mom so we can watch it after all!! ;-)

Anna Kristine said...

That's why I finally bought it...I got it from the library and couldn't finish it in time and there were so many holds on it. *sigh* Oh I can bend the covers and write in it if I want to. It's all mine. :)
Oh dear...I think I've been at work too long. I need to go home. I'm starting to go crazy.