Tuesday, January 31, 2012


They say age is just a number... And when I look at Alan Rickman I have to agree. Anything he's in turns to box office gold: Harry Potter, Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually, Sweeney Todd. And oh man, that voice. It just oozes swoon-worthy syllables. Maybe I'm partial because my first Jane Austen movie experience starred him, and when someone wins your heart at such a young age, well, there's bound to be some bias. So forgive me if I swoon over Colonel Brandon whilst the rest of you are fawning over Edward Ferrars. I'll take this more experienced "silver fox" (Sally's terminology) any day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Study in Sherlock

If I say Sherlock Homes what is the first thing that comes to mind? I would be willing to bet it's one of the following: "Elementary, my dear Watson!," a pipe and a deerstalker hat, or Robert Downey Jr. Now what would you say if I told you that none of these things are canon when it comes to the infamous sleuth. I'm sure there are those of you that are still giving me a disbelieving shake of the head, but I can promise that the line between what was and was not included in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories has gotten a little blurred over the years, especially as his discerning detective and sidekick have once again become part of popular culture.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's Sassurday!

1, 2
Ok, we had a bit of a panic attack this week.  Michael Fassbender was not nominated for an Academy Award for his work in Shame.  The media is just as shocked as we are.  It makes no sense how one of the most heralded and brave performances of the year is not given the kind of recognition it deserves.  Well, Fassbender will always have an Oscar in our opinion, and our opinion is the only one that truly matters.  Right?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Friday We're In Love!

1, 2, 3, 4

Sally's Pick: I'M IN LOVE, I'M IN LOVE, AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT! This week I discovered the excruciatingly handsome, oh-so-heavenly British, mind-blowingly talented classical violinist Charlie Siem. For this reason and this reason and obviously this reason, I have decided to pack my bags for London and let him play my heart strings.

Sarah's Pick:  This week has brought the possibility, slim as it may be, of London.  Not just England, oh no.  London.  I wish I may, I wish I might...

Mariah's Pick: Because I'm totally dying inside that tomorrow is the LAST EVER episode of Chuck, I'm choosing the spy-licious show as my Friday favorite. Just thinking about not having Zachary Levi's handsome face on my screen anymore makes me want to hole up in my room with a box of Kleenex and a lifetime supply of Cherry Garcia while I See The Light plays in the background. So, farewell to the Nerd Herd, Sarah, Col. Casey, Ellie, Beckman, Jeffster, Captain Awesome, and Morgan; it's been 5 fabulous years!

Ali's Pick: There really is nothing better than getting new music.  This past week I proceeded to spend all of the iTunes credit I had built up from Christmas and it. was. awesome.  Right now, I can't stop listening to Florence + The Machine's Ceremonials, especially the tracks "Shake it Out" and "Spectrum"; so good!

Downton Abbey 2x3

We return to Downton, now a convalescent home in full swing, full of hopes and dreams of what we might find inside. I must say, this week's episode surpassed some of these dreams and shoved others into the dirt. Ugh. Here we go...
  • It opens with Mary saying she's finished with Matthew for good (brass knuckles +1). That is so not okay! Time out, Mary! Think before you speak! You're giving me heart problems!
  • Mrs. Crawley's been letting the power of bossing people around at the house go straight to her head a lot recently. But it finally gets to the point where I want to push her backwards or break out my-- (brass knuckles +2). She threatens to hand in her notice several times and Lady G tells her to have at it. Atta girl! Mrs. Crawley decides to go to France to help out in a hospital. Gosh she drives me nuts! Bon voyage!
  • Then Branson tells Sybil, "The truth is, I'll stay in Downton until you want to run away with me" (smelling salts +1 bajillion). OH MY GOSH, THIS MAN!!!!!!!!!
  • Sybil thinks this declaration is a bit extreme, but he carries on saying, "You're too scared to admit it, but you're in love with me" (smelling salts +2 zillion). ARE YOU KIDDING ME, BRANSON?!?! Ughhhh!!!!!!! Smear this man on toast. Sybil! You know you want him!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Victorian Swag Guide to Gatsby

(1, 2, 3)
Show of hands: who LOVES The Great Gatsby?  Let me rephrase:  who was forced to read it in their sophomore English class and secretly kept the school copy because they couldn't bear to part with it? Just me?  Didn't think so.

Just in case my fellow flapper fanatics haven't heard (or haven't seen the photos steadily trickling from the set), a brand new Baz Luhrmann-directed film version is set to be released this December.  I am beyond excited! Leonardo DiCaprio has some big shoes to fill in the lead role.  Robert Redford is not an easy act to follow.  However, pair Leo with Carey Mulligan as Daisy and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway and - short of a complete plot rewrite - I'm pretty sure they can't mess this up.  In order to prepare us all for this fantastic film adaptation, I give you "The Victorian Swag Guide to Gatsby."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In a land of myth and a time of magic, I apologize

Dear Merlin,

I have to confess something to you. And since we've been through so much together, I'm hoping you'll be understanding and forgive me. You see, I have wronged you in the worst possible way! *sobs... composes oneself... deep breath* The thing is, I did something very foolish. I willingly chose to live with roommates who have no interest in getting cable. And since your lovely show, which is so close to my heart by the way,  is on SyFy in the United States, it's quite impossible for me to get constant reminders in the form of commercials plastered with Bradley James' flawless face that it's time to watch this week's episode. And even though I follow @MerlinOfficial on twitter, the message must have gotten mixed up in the chaos of my dashboard. I even follow Bradley (Arthur) and Rupert (Sir Leon), but they were no help either. Not that I'm blaming them! *backpedals* They are innocent and, as I said, flawless human beings. I think you can see where this is going, so I might as well come out with it... I missed the premiere of season 4 of Merlin three weeks ago. I've caught up now, but I just wanted to be honest. Because I care about this relationship. We've had so many good times... the countless marathons, the time I visited the set in France and stared open mouthed at Bradley in his chainmail and Colin with his sweet Irish accent. I don't want you to think that I care about Downton Abbey more than you. It's a lie, Merlin, it's a lie! Don't believe it for one second! They might say you're a tad on the cheesy side, but I like cheese. And magic. But there's so much more to you than that! In fact, the season premiere was the perfect example of why. So if you'll allow me to grovel a little longer, let me count the reasons why I love you so...
1. What a flawless way to open, Merlin! With Sir Leon? I mean, HELLO! I've been wanting to run my fingers through his wild mess of hair for three seasons now. In general, he gives me a lot of uncontrollable FEELINGS that make me dance to "December, 1963 (Oh, What A KNIGHT)" which is why this is the best thing ever. Plus he's immortal thanks to last season. Ballerrrrr! Plus he's in CHAINMAIL. Plus he's on horseback and those red capes with the Pendragon crest look AMAZING on a windy day. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Flawless show is flawless.


Yes, I know I've used this picture here before, but can you blame me? It's my favorite. Look at that crooked smile! Look at that tousled hair! Look at that chainmail! Now you can't blame me for going mute when I saw him just like this in person either. But who can resist a British man who gallops around on horses and can swordfight?! I sure can't... *smelling salts*. He has every right to be cocky, but he's down to earth and bloomin' hilarious. Prince Arthur can't be played by just anyone and with every scene of his on Merlin, he proves why he won the part. He just oozes charisma on screen. Honestly, if I could follow him around all day while he wears a suit of armor, waiting on him hand and foot and kissing him to break spells if need be, that'd be more than fine with me! He's just so charming! And nice to look at! And when he pairs his sunglasses with his chainmail in between takes.... O Camelot, help us all! Bradley can be seen in my dreams the 4th season of Merlin currently playing on SyFy. And no need to play the part of the damsel in distress, season 5 is already in the works!

P.S. I suppose I could have used a "real life" photo of him for once, but I have this complex where I like to think that he and Arthur are the same person... What a wonderful world that would be! Anyway, you'll have to forgive me!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Dragon's Cave

There's nothing like a nice legend to get your Monday started off right. Especially when it involves dragons! (Which, as I just finished telling my fellow bloggers, always makes me think of Bradley James, in armor, riding in to rescue the fair princess, aka: me.) So, what was I saying... Bradley James, dragons... yes. What better place to set the scene for our story than romantic Krakow (Cracow), Poland. I'm sure you were all expecting our fantastic story to be set in a different place, but stick with me here, and I'll attempt to spin you a proper story so that you may indulge in a little work-place daydreaming.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's Sassurday!

I don't know about you, but here at Victorian Swag, we're still nursing our smelling salts after this moment at the Golden Globes earlier this week... As ladies, we'll say no more. But it seems like our king was everywhere this week! From the cover of The Hollywood Reporter to the interview where he was asked what it's like to be a woman's dream and he humbly if not sassily replied, "I guess it's better than being a woman's nightmare!" - we just can't get enough of that shark Fassy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday We're In Love!

1, 2, 34

Wouldn't it be especially lovely if there were an abundance of Fridays in the week? For instance, the day after Wednesday, because that day always seems to be the hardest to get through. Since this isn't possible, we'll just have to take what we can get.
P.S.- Happy birthday, Ali!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Downton Abbey 2x2

Breathe in... breathe out... breathe in... breathe out... Readers, oh dear readers, this episode was a close call. I came very close to booking my ambulance in advance because my poor heart just could not deal with this one plot line episode. Get your smelling salts and your brass knuckles ready... it's going to be a bumpy ride! Because they're turning Downton Abbey into a convalescent home, servants are having nightmares, Mrs. Crawley and Lady G are seriously butting heads over how the house is run, and then there's Branson! Endless drama!

  • Sybil tells Edith, who is feeling like a "spare part," that she is talented, she just has to figure out what that talent is and use it. Even though she's talking to wretched Edith, I'm once again overwhelmed with Sybil's heart of gold (smelling salts +1).
  • With Downton being used for recovering soldiers, someone will need to be in charge of running that aspect. Mrs. O'Brien suggests Thomas to Lady G (brass knuckles +1). Gahhhhh!!!!!! Really?! Shouldn't you have turned in your notice by now, you life ruiner?!
  • Branson's Irish self has been called up, but he tells Sybil that once he gets to the frontline, he won't fight for the Brits. You're going to get yourself killed or thrown in jail on purpose, Branson (brass knuckles +2)! You can't do this to meeeeeee Sybil!!!
  • Thomas's rank is too low to be in charge of managing Downton. Yes! So the doctor says he'll ensure he gets a promotion so he can do it (brass knuckles +3). No!!!
  • Lang reveals Mrs. Patmore's secret that her nephew was shot for cowardice in the war (brass knuckles +4). Jerk face!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It Was Enchanting to Meet You

Let me share a secret with you: before there was J.K. Rowling there was Gail Carson Levine. Which means, before there was Harry Potter, there was Ella Enchanted. For those of you who have seen that travesty of a movie with the same name from which the only good thing to emerge was Hugh Dancy with his beautiful smile (Anne Hathaway, what were you thinking?), I beg you not to hold it against this fabulous book.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pack Your Bags!

I don't know about y'all, but traveling is my weakness!  I love seeing new places, visiting different museums, and just experiencing everything.  But, what I've always wanted to do is blend my love of traveling with my love for movies.  Especially period pieces, but, really, that goes without saying.  So, let's explore the English countryside in search of homes made for men in riding boots and women in empire-waist dresses.


Call me a cougar, but this congratulatory face turns 20 on Thursday! Happy birthday, Logan! You're the ca-uuutest! While I've seen him grow up on screen in everything from The Patriot to Jack & Bobby (where I tried to convince my little sister to have a crush on him... silly me trying to dodge destiny) to 3:10 to Yuma, it wasn't till Sarah and I spent a year traveling around France that I really had Lerman fever. Everywhere we went we saw posters of his demi-god self advertising Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. The only problem? We could only ever find the movie in French. And there's nothing worse than seeing American actors dubbed in a voice that doesn't match. I mean... it's Logan Lerman! So after hundreds of failed attempts to see it, I promptly sent Sarah a copy of the DVD for her birthday once we were stateside. The verdict? Take me to Mount Olympus! All signs point towards his "it" status after playing d'Artagnan in last year's The Three Musketeers (let's spend the day writing haikus about his flowing locks and swordfighting skills). Maybe I'm biased because I will definitely see anything he's in, but he holds his own alongside Hollywood greats. And, I'm sorry, but if you can steal my attention away from them, then leave your calling card! Next up he's starring in the film adaptation of one of my all-time favorite books, The Perks of Being a Wallflower... too good to be true!

P.S. Speaking of birthdays, happy birthday to our very own Mariah!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Start Your Monday with a Mix

This mix has been on my mind (and about 50 post-it notes floating around my purse) for the past 4 months.  It's been a while since I have crafted a new mix but I felt the need to finish this one before winter was over (for obvious reasons).  I am looking forward to having it on repeat in my car for the next few weeks.  Enjoy!  You can buy the mix HERE.

Fancy That
1.  Spectrum - Florence + The Machine
2.  From Finner - Of Monsters And Men
3.  Ambulance - Eisley
4.  Skinny Love - Bon Iver
5.  Red Ribbon Foxes - A Fine Frenzy
6.  Change the Sheets - Kathleen Edwards
7.  In the End - Snow Patrol
8.  Without You - Eddie Vedder
9.  Winter Is All Over You - First Aid Kit
10.  Reach - Andrew Belle
11.  White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes
12.  Ventura Highway - America
13.  Silence Is Easy - Starsailor
14.  Paradise - Coldplay
15.  Love Lost - The Temper Trap
16.  Even If I Don't - Rachael Yamagata
17.  From Now On - The Features 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

It's Sassurday!

We love celebrating the small things in life; especially when those small things are short films featuring our favorite Fassbender.  This man will take on any project (and language) under the sun, it seems.  I have yet to see him in a role that I dislike.  He has starred alongside newcomers and favorites alike.  On January 7th, he had not one, but two films debut at the London Short Film Festival: Goldfish and Pitch Black Heist.  In Ed Sayer's Goldfish Fassy stars alongside, well, goldfish.  It could be incredibly ridiculous (a crumbling love story told from the point of view of a cantonese-speaking fish), but I have a feeling that this performance will lend itself to inescapable endearment and depth.  Hopefully we'll be able to catch the whole film sometime soon before it disappears into the obscurity that seems to swallow every decent short film effort.  For now, enjoy the opening scene!

Goldfish - opening sequence from ed sayers on Vimeo.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Classic List: recap edition

The past seven weeks have been a fabulous opportunity to share some of my favorite old films. I think it's safe to say that there's no way this list is complete, but it would surely take a whole year if I wear to sit down and explain every single old movie you must see and why. Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Singing in the Rain, Gigi, Shop Around the Corner, I could go on, but I'm hoping that perhaps my choices were a little less obvious, even though I love all of the aforementioned as well. 

So lets do a little recap of all we've learned in the past month and a half...

Friday We're In Love!

1, 2, 3, 4
Sally's pick:  This week finally granted us our first peek at Birdsong, which will air on PBS's Masterpiece Classic on April 22nd and 29th. Not only does this WWI drama star our crowned prince Eddie Redmayne, but his love interest is played by Clémence Poésy, one of my favorite French actresses. Of course it looks epic, but... EDDIE REDMAYNE IN UNIFORM, I CAN'T EVEN!!!

Ali's pick: I am "between books" at the moment and so I went perusing my bookshelves for an old favorite to help pass the time on Monday night.  I grabbed my ancient copy of Anne of Green Gables and I must admit that I have fallen in love all over again with the precocious Anne Shirley and her enchanting life on Prince Edward Island.  I've always loved this story (and secretly wanted to be Anne) but this book has really just brightened my week; thank you, L.M. Montgomery.  

Sarah's pick:  Absolutely Fabulous is back!  Well, for three special 20th Anniversary episodes anyway.  The first one was on Sunday, and I have missed the complete ridiculousness of Edina and Patsy.  Sweetie dahling, dahling sweetie!

Mariah's pick: I'm quite positive that if given the opportunity to go to the ballet every day, I would accept. Since that's not a possibility I'll settle for occasional performances- one of which I'll be lucky enough to see this week when The State Ballet Theatre of Russia presents Romeo and Juliet in Savannah. Basically, tomorrow will be a perfect day filled with tea, ballet, and plenty of swooning over the star-crossed lovers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Downton Abbey 2x1

*FAN FLAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!* OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS!!!!!!!! Downton Abbey returned to our TV sets this week, dumping us into the second season with COUSIN MATTHEW all gritty in the trenches. Say what?!?! As if this guy hasn't had heartbreak enough, you're going to make him fear for his life?! His precious blue eyed life?!
As you can see, two years have passed... I feel cheated!
Before I get too carried away, allow me to preface by saying that while I'm still armed with smelling salts, we're going to be looking at Downton Abbey in a slightly different way that does not require me to toil in the mire of my FEELINGS for these posts for 6 hours a week. Sorry y'all, in the past I got swept up in my eternal devotion to Branson and I just couldn't help myself. But you know what? Downton Abbey is not a fluffy period piece made of warm fuzzies alone. There's an even split between golden-hearted and soulless characters. So I've decided to break things down moreso in tally format. That is smelling salts vs brass knuckles. First, a little taste of the beginning...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Beginner's Guide to Movie Scores

I've spent the past half-hour having an internal debate with myself. You see, last night I had the brilliant idea that a movie score post was in order, and of course I could either review my current on-repeat selection, War Horse, or I could do a more in-depth these are the composers you should listen to, etc... Of course, my fellow VS ladies are no help because the sum of their advice was, "write what you love." And you see, the thing is, I simply adore movie scores. It's been an obsession since my early years when I hoarded every bit and piece of Disney music available. Of course, my tastes have grown since then to encompass a much broader range of composers. Perhaps its the years I spent training in classical ballet- hours at the bar doing pliés and relevés to Mozart and Tchaikovsky- that has given me this passion for film scores. 

Whatever it is, I'm afraid I'm rather like a new parent who tells everyone that will listen how utterly amazing their child is, or a book lover who carries around copies of their favorite novel to give to strangers. I know that y'all are too smart to simply take my word for it, so like any good person who is trying to win others to their side, I shall present you with my favorite score composers and let you make your own judgements.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Raise your hand if you were slightly appalled when you heard Benedict Cumberbatch was going to be playing Sherlock Holmes in Steven Moffat's TV adaptation. If you were smart enough to be instantly excited, then good for you. We were too busy thinking of his brilliant but majorly creepy role as the older man who marries the much younger Lola in Atonement. Thankfully, we've come 'round, because we happen to think that his turn as our favorite sleuth is one of the best in Sherlock history. Mr. Cumberbatch has certainly been making the rounds recently with War Horse, Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy, and his upcoming roles in The Hobbit and the untitled Star Trek sequel. And while he may not be conventionally handsome, his gorgeous voice (he certainly makes our top-ten list) and onscreen presence-- not to mention ginger hair-- will surely win you over. We give you leave to spend the rest of the day trolling YouTube for videos of Ben... no worries, we'll be doing the same.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Future Home of Victorian Swag: Recap

(Top Row: 1, 2, 3, 4)
(Bottom Row: 5, 6, 7, 8)
 Can you believe it?  It has been 8 weeks (give or take) since the authors of Victorian Swag have introduced you to our favorite abodes.  We have travelled all over the world to some of the most beautiful and unique homes  (I use that word in the broadest sense imaginable) in existence.  I hope this series gave you a glimpse into the completely unrealistic, fantasy fueled world of Victorian Swag.  The next time we move into a to-die-for Parisian flat or an enchanted castle, we'll be sure to keep you posted. We are by no means finished renting these ridiculously huge, extravagantly decorated, and almost impossibly inaccessible dwellings for our week-long adventures here and there; however, it is time to look back on the past few months and vote for our favorite houses.  To help you out a bit, here is a list of our featured homes along with a short description that may help you with your decision.  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's Sassurday!


This just in: our beloved Fassy is going to be on the cover of the February issue of Interview magazine. You can see the cover here and trust us, you won't be disappointed. Now, if only it was February already...

Happy Sassurday!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Classic List: lovetohate/hatetolove edition

I have a confession to make.... I'm from the South and I hate Gone With the Wind. Now I know some of you are asking yourselves how this is even possible. Me, a girl with an undying love for old movies, who was born and raised below the Mason-Dixon line doesn't like THE GREATEST SOUTHERN FILM OF ALL TIME? And to this I say, have you ever tried to sit through the entire piece in one straight viewing whilst listening to Scarlett rant and rave about how much her life sucks and how many FEELINGS she has for Ashley? Not to mention the fact that Clark Gable downright infuriates me, normally I can't resist a snarky, handsome leading man, but in this case... The reason you need to know all of these facts about a movie that is mostly un-related to today's pick is this: I detest Clark Gable. Don't ask me to explain why, I just do. So when TCM forced (okay, they didn't, not really, but I get sucked in and am powerless against my remote) me to watch It Happened One Night, I was not amused. I raved and ranted, in my mind of course, against what was sure to be a two-hour long example of why Clark Gable is themostannoying worst actor in the world. So this post is for you, Clark Gable, I'm still not a fan, but you certainly softened my heart with this film.

Friday We're In Love!

(Clockwise from top left: 1,2,3,4)
Friday, Friday, it’s Friday again!  Even though the workweek was technically only four days long, it’s always tough to head back after a long break.  But we made it!  And here are the little things that helped take us from the Tuesday morning blues to Friday happy hour.

Mariah’s Pick: I read a LOT of books, some of them are just fun, breezy reads, but some, like Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, are the rare kind that stay with you long after you've turned the last page. Oskar Schell is the kind of kid I can only hope to have someday, and his journey to solve the one last puzzle his beloved father left him is going to require you to seek solace from a box of Kleenex and your fictional boyfriend.

Ali’s Pick: I spent some quality time with my camera over my holiday break.  I love taking the photos but the best part has to be going through them all over again and tweaking them to color or sepia perfection with Aperture.  Finding the perfect song to put with the slideshow is just the cherry on top of my favorite hobby. 

Sarah’s pick: I was on a music video kick this week, so I was re-watching some of my favorites.  For example, "Baby We Were Young" by The Dirty Guv'nah's is a great song, but this video makes it awesome!  I can't help but giggle whenever I watch it.

Sally’s Pick: I'm already a sucker for horses and period pieces, but throw Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jeremy Irvine, and an emotional score into the mix and I'm still swooning over War Horse more than a week later. Each person that interacts with the horse, Joey, seems to be symbolic of that particular point in the war and none was more moving than Toby Kebell's part in No Man's Land. I knew I was going to cry, but my gosh did this movie give me so many more ALL CAPS FEELINGS than I was anticipating (and, yes, that's a good thing)!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Downton Abbey 1x7

Season one finale! Can you believe it?! It's lucky I'm only armed with smelling salts and not a baseball bat... Anyway, it opens with the servants preparing for the family's return from London. William's mother died sometime during that time and I just want somebody to throw him a bone. Thanks to some handy text at the bottom of the screen, we find out it's July 1914. Time flies when they keep you in the dark! When the family arrives they reveal that Mary is extending her stay in the city with her aunt. Not much has happened in their absence besides the assassination of the Archduke. Lady G congratulates Sybil for being such a hit in London, which gives Edith a mad bout of middle child syndrome. Get over it, Edith! In London Aunt Rosamund tries to get in Mary's business and tells her that marrying Cousin Matthew would be "very tidy." No! Doesn't she know you can't use words like "tidy" around Mary? This is all going to backfire! Back at Downton, William wears a black armband to honor his mother. Lord G catches the doctor leaving the house and discovers that...
So sweet I might just lapse into a sugar coma!
LADY G'S PREGNANT (smelling salts +1)! OMG I CAN'T EVEN DEAL! Yayyy!!!! Another baby G! Outside, O'Brien's pretty darn smug about a letter she's received and she shares it with Thomas... this can't be good. They show the letter to Carson and apparently it concerns Mr. B, because they have nothing better to do. Gah! Just leave it! Mr. Napier, Pamuk's friend, shows up to visit Mary, apparently having called off his engagement. She seems uncomfortable, as if she's thinking he might suddenly propose to her. Instead he tells her that's he's not the source of the rumors going around town about her, which have been making her life there so difficult.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hello New Year!

What's behind this curtain, you ask?  Only the best band EVER on New Year's Eve.  "Kick Drum Heart" starts playing, the curtain falls, and The Avett Brothers start jamming out!  I have never seen a better concert in my life - and I've seen quite a few quality ones.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Downton Abbey 1x6

We jump straight back in with Sybil in the midst of what looks like a rally! Because the topic is women's rights, the crowd's a fiery one and when they start throwing things, everyone from Branson to Mrs. Crawley are concerned for Sybil's welfare, trying to keep the rioters at bay. 
I <3 PDA!
Like... there is physical contact between Sybil (#1 favorite female character) and Branson (#1 male character) and OH MY GOSH, Y'ALL (smelling salts +1)! Our darling golden-hearted girl wants to stay and hear the rest of the speeches, but Mrs. Crawley tells her if anything happens to her, Branson will lose his job, so she leaves because she loves him. In the car Sybil tells him that she hopes he will go into politics and he gets carried away talking about the gap in wealth between the rich and the poor. Back at Downton we find out the Mrs. Patmore has cataracts. And, what do you know, Mr. B keeps hinting that he knows Thomas stole the wine, but still doesn't expose him. Come on, man! Enough already! A few moments later, however, he does expose somebody accidentally... Sybil! Lord G had no idea that she went to hear the liberal candidate's speech with Branson! Dang it, Mr. B! What have you done?!


Apparently some critics over in the UK have been saying that 19 year-old (hey! he's legal!) Douglas Booth is too pretty to play the role of Pip in the BBC's Great Expectations miniseries, which aired over Christmas. But here at Victorian Swag, we don't discriminate against pretty boys! In fact, we thought his emotional portrayal was powerful and endearing. But, yeah, he is rather attractive! Our eyes were ga-lued to the screen the whole time! Great Expectations airs on PBS April 1st and 8th. Yippee! You can catch Douglas again later this year as the Romeo to Hailee Steinfeld's Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. And just so you know, the screenplay was written by Julian Fellowes, the man behind Downton Abbey. So you know it's going to be good! Eeee!!! O Douglas, Douglas! Wherefore art thou Douglas?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Future Home of Victorian Swag: Mark Twain House, Hartford Connecticut

Aaaaand, we’re back! After a week of holiday festivities (and too many cookies for most of us) we are back and blogging again. First let me say Happy New Year to all of you, dear readers. We hope your year is filled with tons of fun and plenty of Victorian Swag!

This first post of the New Year will wrap up my Future Home of Victorian Swag series. I have been waiting for this finale in order to showcase some truly impressive Victorian architecture. And what better place to end than at a Victorian Mansion that was home to one of America’s greatest writers? That’s right, I am talking about the Hartford, Connecticut home of Mark Twain (a.k.a. Samuel Clemens). As you already know, I have a soft spot for the Midwest and Twain just so happens to be one of my literary heroes. His house in Missouri is really nothing to write home about, but his Hartford, Connecticut home is a Victorian beauty.