A Confederacy of Lunches

David Copperfield, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real,¬†was no stranger to the vagary of circumstances. He knew what it was like to be very poor, quite wealthy, and everything in between. Like clothing and housing, food has always been a solid indicator of the good, or the bad, life. Unemployed, homeless people were consigned to workhouses in Victorian times. Lunch, the main meal, was called “dinner”. According to a menu from a real Victorian workhouse, dinners consisted of 6 oz. bread, 2 oz. cheese per person, varied by such alternatives as 8 oz. bread, 1 and 1/2 pints of … Continue reading A Confederacy of Lunches

Let Me Call You Sweet Tart

Recently David Copperfield, one of Charles Dicken’s most famous characters, was in the village of Bakewell, UK. Dickens once stayed in Bakewell, at the Rutland Arms, whilst writing his long-forgotten short story called “The Warilows of Wellland”; this same hotel also hosted Jane Austen, Lord Byron, and Coleridge–though never, of course, at the same time. David Copperfield just stopped by for the Bakewell Tart. This pastry, available in cardboard boxes throughout English supermarkets, is virtually unknown in the States. A pity, because the freshly made version is scrumptious. It is concocted from a shortcrust pastry shell embellished with layers of … Continue reading Let Me Call You Sweet Tart

Star Signs of Your Favorite Characters

Literary¬†characters have birthdays like everybody else. And sun signs. Since specific birthdays are rarely mentioned in print, the trick is to figure out when our favorite protagonists might have born based on their temperaments and inclinations. Here’s my best guess: VIRGO: JANE EYRE–gentle, with love of duty and heart of gold, studious and accomplished, who comes up from behind; Cinderella was also a Virgo. ARIES: EMMA BOVARY–impetuous, impatient, idealistic; Aries is the sign most likely to get into significant debt and they live for whirlwind romance. SCORPIO: HESTER PRYNNE–intense, smoldering and never lets anything go. Obsessed with birth, death, love, … Continue reading Star Signs of Your Favorite Characters