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About KEV67

  • Rank
    Avid Reader
  • Birthday 06/18/1967

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  • Gender
  • Location:
    Reading, UK
  • Interests
    Victorian fiction, science fiction, economics, sustainability

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  1. Victober

    I wouldn't call Carmilla a Penny Dreadful, but fair enough.
  2. Victober

    In East Lynne, one of the characters is criticised for a fancy shirt. It cost him 25 shillings. I have often wondered how much money was worth then compared to now. Twenty-five shillings is £1.25 in today's money. Usually I multiply Victorian money amounts by 100 to get a relative value, but it does not always work. I think the hundred multiplier sort of works for middle class, but not for the working class or upper class. In chapter 2 of my Penny Dreadful, the pirate ship, El Malachor, has picked up a one-eyed man from a raft. Initially there were fifty men on the raft, but thirty-seven died of thirst and hunger, and another dozen died of the miasma from the rotting bodies.
  3. Lady Audley's Secret

    Yes, a bit of a typo there.
  4. Victober

    I have read lots of books I have nor understood or not enjoyed, even books with little bragging value. Dracula just seems to have gone off the boil. That is the main reason. I liked the grandiloquent style of speech back in Transylvania when Dracula was speaking it. I'm not digging it now it's transferred to London. I don't like the gang that much: Dr Seward, Lord Goldalming, Quincy Morris and Van Helsing. I have not warmed to Van Helsing, and his circumlocuting, cod-courteous Dutch/German manner of address. He is not Peter Cushing. Spoiler. I am not a feminist or white knight, but In yesterday's chapter Mina was asked to stay out of harm's way, because she was weak woman and too valuable to risk. However, I expect that's a plot device. The incidents seem a bit random. It's as if Bram Stoker thought wouldn't it be a great book if the most powerful vampire in Transylvania relocated to London, and then, I don't know, gets defeated somehow. Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu worked. That was somewhat shorter and it was all situated in eastern Europe. Most the Hammer House of Horror vampire films were set in Transylvania.
  5. Victober

    Dracula started well, but it has deteriorated. Perhaps that's why film and TV adaptions do not follow the book. If I had not committed to reading it, I think I may have put it down.
  6. Victober

    I read the first chapter of my penny dreadful, The Frozen Crew of the Ice Bound Ship by anonymous. It's about a pirate ship, the captain of which is Paul Jones. I do not know how bad he is yet, but he is a big, strong man with a beard and good teeth. The night previous to the story opening, the crew spotted The Flying Dutchman. I was never sure whether The Flying Dutchman was a steam train or a ship. Apparently, it's a ghost ship. If you see it once, you will see it a second time before your doom.
  7. Lady Audley's Secret

    Go on then, what did you think?
  8. Victober

    I think Bram Stoker lays the erotic allusions on a bit thick. I wondered why Van Helsing did not bring a lantern with him rather than lighting candles. It was so the hot sperm could fall on the coffin. He could have used an oil lantern, or a wax candle, maybe a tallow candle, but he had to use a candle made of spermaceti. It was a superior candle, but all the same.
  9. Victober

    Things have started happening in East Lynne. I think it was partly down to the three volume structure Victorian novels used to follow. The first volume sets the scene. Things move on in the second volume. Everything is tied up in the third.
  10. Victober

    I am now intrigued by Mina Harker's knowledge of railway timetables. She tells Van Helsing that if he gets the 10:30 train from Exeter, he will get to Paddington by 2:35. I sometimes have to travel back via Exeter St Davids by rail to Reading, which takes about two hours. You would have to add about another half hour to get from Reading to Paddington. However, I expect the 1897 train stopped at more stations. After Taunton the modern service does not stop until Reading. Van Helsing always stays at the best hotels, so I expect he travels first class in one of those six seat compartments. Probably a good call if he could afford it. In second class, he would not be subject to other passengers' interminable phone conversations and noise from their electronic devices, but there were probably just as many noisy buggers on the trains, and probably more kids.
  11. Victober

    I wonder whether Dracula was as erotic a book as could be published in 1897. The following is slightly spoilery. Yesterday I was thinking that all Lucy's three suitors had transferred their bodily fluids to her, as had van Helsing. Then I wondered whether I was reading a bit too much into that, not having a degree in English literature or cod psychology. Then today I read Lucy's fiance say he regarded himself as having married her after giving blood to her. Dr Seward and van Helsing resolve not to tell him about the other transfusions. So in effect Lucy had been figuratively gang-banged by her male friends. I hope her blood group was AB+; otherwise she would probably have reacted badly to one of her blood transfusions, unless they were all 0-, which is unlikely. There was another steamy bit where Dr Seward and van Helsing put Lucy in a warm bath to warm her up. Dr Seward writes that they put her in the bath as she was, which I assume means in her nightdress, but then her nightdress would have gone transparent. Then he writes that they dried her off with a towel, so they must have taken her nightie off then. Of course Dr Seward and van Helsing are medical men, not dirty, old men like me. They would not have been affected by the sight of Lucy's beautiful, nineteen-year-old body as I would have been.
  12. Victober

    I am beginning to find East Lynne a bit dull. I hope someone succumbs to temptation soon. Either that or they make some progress in uncovering the mystery. With Dracula I am getting turned on by the thought of Lucy Westenra in her night gown. That aspect of the book is fairly Hammer House of Horror. One odd thing is that for all the film adaptions of Dracula I have seen I don't think any have stuck to the book. There was the film with Winona Ryder and Gary Oldman, but I am not sure they stuck to the story neither.
  13. Victober

    Really, that's the first time I've heard that! I can understand extending the Edwardian era to 1914, but myself I would not extend it into Victoria's reign. I read Lady Audley's Secret last year. At first I thought it was just entertainment, but I found it quite thought provoking by the end.
  14. Victober

    King Edward VII was dead four years by 1914. How could the Edwardian period start then? Books started to change after WW1. You get all those Modernists and experimental writers. Edwardians seem different to Victorians in that they have motor cars, although in other ways Edwardians seem more like late Victorians than late Victorians seem like early Victorians, at least in literature.
  15. Victober

    I thought I would be able to read a Penny Dreadful online for nothing, but I am having difficulty finding anything, particularly Spring Heeled Jack, which I planned to read. Also, Philip Pullman has written a version of the story, which I want to avoid. I think I managed to read the first chapter of Spring Heeled Jack and I thought it was bobbins. I have been looking on Amazon. I considered Claude Duval, but that came out in 1902, therefore Edwardian. Then I considered Black Bess, but then I ordered The Frozen Crew of the Ice Bound Ship, Or The Terrors of the Arctic Regions.