What’s your favourite literary TV adaptation?

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The evenings are closing in, the temperature is dropping, the time seems right to make a hot brew and curl up with a book… or perhaps, the remote?

Continue reading “What’s your favourite literary TV adaptation?”

What’s your favourite literary TV adaptation?

94979

The evenings are closing in, the temperature is dropping, the time seems right to make a hot brew and curl up with a book… or perhaps, the remote?

Continue reading “What’s your favourite literary TV adaptation?”

The most romantic lines in literature

The most romantic day of the year is just around the corner, and we’re definitely feeling loved-up as the Liverpool launch of A Little, Aloud with Love is taking place this evening at Waterstones Liverpool One with guests including the editor of all of our A Little, Aloud books Angela Macmillan and Gogglebox stars and one of Liverpool’s favourite couples June and Leon. A few tickets are still available and can be purchased on the door or by calling Waterstones Liverpool One on 0151 709 9820.

One of the most romantic lines in the English language is featured in Far From The Madding Crowd - and A Little, Aloud with Love!
One of the most romantic lines in the English language is featured in Far From The Madding Crowd – and A Little, Aloud with Love!

Our hearts have been thoroughly warmed by the results of a poll to find the most romantic line in the English language, carried out by the TV channel Drama. Quotes from not one, nor two but three classic novels made the Top 10 with lots of competition also coming from film and TV – and what’s even better is that extracts from two out of the three listed books are featured in A Little, Aloud with Love.

Topping the literary words of love at number 5 is Cathy’s declaration that Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” about Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights.

Making number 8 in the poll isAnd at home by the fire, whenever you look up there I shall be. And whenever I look up, there will be you” as said by Gabriel Oak to Bathsheba Everdene in Far From The Madding Crowd – and the very same quote appears in the extract from the book in A Little, Aloud with Love, no less!

Finally, rounding off the romantic utterances are Darcy’s immortal words to Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice: ‘In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Topping the list is ”My heart is, and always will be, yours” from the film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. Even though the line doesn’t appear in the book, as Sense and Sensibility is another of A Little, Aloud with Love‘s chosen texts we’re willing to bend the rules slightly…

The spellbinding ballroom scene between Natasha and Prince Andrei in War and Peace
The spellbinding ballroom scene between Natasha and Prince Andrei in War and Peace

Hearts have also been racing with BBC One’s adaptation of War and Peace, which has attracted millions of viewers and came to its conclusion on Sunday night. The twists and turns in romantic affairs amidst the backdrop of the 1812 French invasion of Russia have captivated audiences, with the ballroom scene between Natasha Rostova (as played by Lily James) and Prince Andrei Bolkonsky (portrayed by James Norton) being one of the most memorable and spectacular moments. An extract following the famed scene of Natasha and Andrei’s first meeting is also featured in A Little, Aloud with Love, so for those of you having withdrawals of not yet brave enough to commit to the entirety of the novel, it’s the perfect place to begin – and what’s more it’s paired with a beautiful poem by Andrew Marvell, which is a definite bonus.

With all of these extracts combined packed into one book, we think we can safely say that the romance rating of A Little, Aloud with Love is very high indeed!

 

Russia Reads Aloud

war and peace coverAnyone who has taken on the challenge of reading War and Peace will know that it’s quite the literary endeavour, and it is with admiration and amazement that we heard about a marathon four-day public reading of Tolstoy’s classic across Russia that has been happening this week.

Led and coordinated by Tolstoy’s great-great-granddaughter Fekla Tolstaya, the reading began on Tuesday morning and by its conclusion at the end of today will have involved over 1,300 people in more than 30 cities across the country, and will have reached even more both nationally and worldwide as the readings are being streamed by the Russian state television channel Kultura and online.

The collection of readings were characterised by their democratic nature, with more than 6,000 people applying to be part in the 60 hour collective. Everyone from schoolchildren and professors to politicians and library-goers have been involved, reading a two-to-three minute excerpt from the novel each. With more than half a million words to cover, that’s a lot of readers on board!

“For me it shows how we are all equal when we speak about literature, when we speak about books – everyone can find something for themselves in this book,” says Fekla. “People argue with each other when they speak about politics, [but] culture, our cultural heritage, great Russian literature – this is the place where we all unite.”

The marathon reading is out of this world – and we can say that quite literally, as cosmonaut Sergei Volkov is taking part reading his extract from the International Space Station.

Public reading of great pieces of literature have seen a revival recently, in the UK as well as abroad. This summer, the Almeida Theatre and British Museum brought over sixty actors and artists together to read The Iliad to audiences that totalled 50,000 across the world, following it up with a similar reading of The Odyssey last month. Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick was also performed in its entirety by writers, actors, comedians and members of the public at the Southbank Centre – and similarly to the reading of War and Peace, involved Herman Melville’s great-great-granddaughter. With this year’s Penny Readings taking place this weekend – with Maxine Peake and Shaun Evans appearing as star readers – as well as our Shared Reading groups happening across the country each week, it’s great to know that we’re in such good company.

Perhaps 2016 will see yet more marathon reading attempts? We’ve read quite a few lengthy novels in our Shared Reading groups including Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens and Tolstoy’s other epic, Anna Kareninacould one of them be next? If anyone involved in the War and Peace reading over in Russia wants to get in touch with us, please do – and together we’ll lead a global read aloud fashion!