Author: Mary

I have a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from California Baptist University, but my heart belongs to writing. My writing history is advertised below and located on InfoBarrel and WordPress. I’ve published much research along with some fiction. With time, I hope to produce more material for the reading world and add to my writing skills.

Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings – Why This Presents an Ethical Dilemma

Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings – Why This Presents an Ethical Dilemma

Cue the funeral dirge. For a company, which entertains complete disregard for the Christian faith, has acquired certain rights to Tolkien’s work. That’s right: Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings.

Why Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings

We Christians cannot fully blame Jeff Bezos for acquiring the global television rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. For the Tolkien Estate and the Tolkien Trust had presented these rights to him, as well as to other companies with wholly different views than J.R.R. Tolkien. Jeff Bezos merely presented the most attractive monetary agreement.

Why Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings requires little speculation: Jeff Bezos wanted more money. Whatever he paid for the right to televise The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) must have appeared as small change compared to the calculations for how much a LOTR miniseries would gain in profit. Jeff Bezos simply saw a great opportunity handed to him.



Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings and What It Said About the Tolkien Estate and Trust

Declaring Jeff Bezos as the only greedy investor in this deal denies the greed working behind the Tolkien Society. Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy was wildly successful, and the Tolkien Society decided they wished for more such financial successes. A simple conclusion based on the common transactions and deals performed among organizations around the world.

Since Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings, Christians need to pray for God’s help. Because if the Christian messages in the LOTR trilogy are to remain intact, God must perform a miracle. For it seems the Tolkien Society chairmen care little about the faith elements which J.R.R. Tolkien incorporated into his work.



Ethical Dilemmas Behind the Deals When Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings

Why do I conclude the Tolkien Society cares little about J.R.R. Tolkien’s faith? I came to this conclusion because, based on international news found on the Internet and in the Wall Street Journal, Jeff Bezos supports causes that oppose Christian beliefs. To me, selling global television rights to The Lord of the Rings to a man who disregards God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit seems like folly.

To maintain the integrity behind The Lord of the Rings, and remain faithful to the remarkable Christian author, we must hope Jeff Bezos instructs his crew to stay true to the books. Making Tolkien’s beloved characters perform in ways defiant to what is right and true would skew the beauty in J.R.R. Tolkien’s messages. As would also be true if the evil characters performed kind acts.



Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings and We’re Going to Watch It

As a general rule, my family never buys from Amazon, unless someone presents us with a gift card. However, even spending someone else’s money given to Amazon feels wrong and dirty. Why? Amazon supports causes, such as gay marriage, that the Holy Bible informs Christians to recognize as an abomination. Therefore, we, as Christians, generally refuse to support liberal organizations when they adamantly hate us for our beliefs.

In this particular case, I will make an exception. Since this blog focuses predominantly on British food and British flicks, I will find someone who has an Amazon Prime TV and watch the LOTR miniseries with them. Then, hopefully, I will be able to report to my readers how Amazon remained true to the stories. Though, I highly doubt such will happen.

Who is excited for Amazon acquiring the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings? Do you think Amazon will do well and skew the story only slightly? Or do you think Amazon will use this opportunity to demean J.R.R. Tolkien’s work?



How To Quit a Job and Begin Behaving Like a Tolkien Character

How To Quit a Job and Begin Behaving Like a Tolkien Character

This blog post is for my few loyal readers: Grace, peace, and goodwill to you from God above. Please allow me to share a little about my life, the beginning to behaving like a Tolkien character, and what it entails for Mary Loves the UK.



How To Quit a Job After Five Years and Start Behaving Like a Tolkien Character

What occurred at my job yesterday – or what was then my job – I encourage my readers to avoid doing with their own jobs. I flamed out. Placed under strict restrictions about absence for medical reasons, I had little choice other than to walkout. So, walkout I did.

My employer was unhappy, and shared her hard feelings with me on the way out. I wish I could say I responded well, but I didn’t. Tears issued forth, and nothing could stop them. After a few well-targeted insults from my previous employer, I told her I would leave immediately. And I did.

Was this a wise decision? Did I behave as well as I had hoped to? No. But, since I have vacated my work post after five long and hard years, I now must move forward. I must embark on a Tolkien-like journey.



What Behaving Like a Tolkien Character Looks Like

Many Christians believe J.R.R. Tolkien created his Middle Earth to symbolize Christianity and the Christian walk. For, supposedly, the hobbits resembled men and women who went through trials and grew stronger and wiser as individuals. Other Middle Earth peoples resembled angels and demons.

To behave like a Tolkien character, one must experience growth in his or her life. Most growth involves pain and suffering. Moreover, if someone wishes to become a better person through their pain and suffering, then God must be involved. For even Tolkien recognized God’s presence, authority, and majesty.



What Behaving Like a Tolkien Character Means for Mary Loves the UK

Well, first and foremost, I will write more on J.R.R. Tolkien and his works! Delving into the symbolism and his characters is my intent, so if anyone would rather avoid any talk about God’s presence in this man and his work, then I advise staying away from this blog.

But! If people do wish to know more about how several great British men knew and loved our heavenly Father, then please, stay with me. We will explore what inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s creative genius, and how it has passed the test of time, influencing and encouraging millions of people.

Thank you, my few loyal readers, for reading. May God shape us all according to His will.



Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes in “The Duchess” – Critical Review

Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes in “The Duchess” – Critical Review

Actors Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes worked together in the worst movie plot I have ever seen, entitled The Duchess. Though two or three weeks have passed since I watched this movie, I dare not watch it again for a simple review. For The Duchess movie ought to disappear from the record books.



The Disastrous Plotline in The Duchess

The Duchess
Keira Knightley as “Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire”.
Photo by Nick Wall

Never before have I seen a historical woman so skewed in a movie to fit the feminist agenda. Though I have yet to acquire a book on the Duchess of Devonshire, I know just enough from online sources to realize the woman’s greater accomplishments. Other than those of surviving a bad marriage.

Keira Knightley played the young woman who became the Duchess of Devonshire. Carefree and flexible, she left her friends to elevate in social ranking by marrying the Duke, William Cavendish. Right from the beginning, the screenwriter showed Duchess Georgiana as being the poor victim who must produce a male heir for a despicable man.



The Duchess
Duke William Cavendish of Devonshire

How did the Duke show himself despicable? Well, he chose his wife’s traveling companion as his mistress. Expressing her anger at the relationship, Duchess Georgiana verbally spat at the Duke and proclaimed to never make love with him again. Upon which the Duke forced himself upon her, and then went back to Lady Bess Foster. From the rape came Duchess Georgiana’s first and only son.

When the Duchess found a childhood friend who loved her deeply, the Duke forbade any love affair, despite his own with Lady Bess. To remain in contact with her daughters and son with the Duke, she permanently disconnected with her friend, who later became Prime Minister Charles Grey. Lady Bess comforted her, so Duchess Georgiana soon stood down and allowed Lady Bess and the Duke to marry. From her one-time affair with Sir Charles came a daughter, whom the Lady Georgiana visited frequently.



Feminist Activists Seen at Work in The Duchess

The Duchess
Keira Knightley as Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire stars in THE DUCHESS, a Paramount Vantage release. Photo by Peter Mountain

Real-life Duchess Georgiana played a large and significant role in fashion and politics. Whereas the Duke seemed moody and disinterested in common affairs, the Duchess would actively participate in the political dinners and gatherings. Hence how she came across her childhood friend, Sir Charles Grey.

Moreover, Duchess Georgiana was anything but a saint. For in her marriage to the Duke of Devonshire, she acquired massive amounts of gambling debt. This also served to prove her relations with the political heads, because gambling served as a frequent pastime among the ladies and gentlemen.

To finetune the plot, and keep the movie from showing as something unpolitical, more emphasis should have been placed on the social times. For during the time in which the Duchess lived, religion had a strong hold on how people behaved. Many things done today didn’t exist in England’s past. Therefore, to expect Duke William Cavendish to behave the same way as modernday husbands is ridiculous.



Recommendations for The Duchess

Movie critics loved this movie. Something which makes sense to me, considering the generally widespread liberal agenda sweeping across Europe and the United States. According to the critics, since this movie criticized men, it was a masterpiece.

As for me, I found the film completely unfair to men and historically ambiguous. The Duchess of Devonshire had power! She was no fainting damsel in distress. Consequently, I cannot in good conscious recommend this film. While the costume designer created beautiful garments, he failed to save the disastrous plotline. So, please, spare yourselves the pain and watch something historically and politically sound.



How To Properly Cook a Jamie Oliver Recipe – Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties

How To Properly Cook a Jamie Oliver Recipe – Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties

I dared to argue with Jamie Oliver’s instructions on a certain meal once before, concerning his “Old Boy’s Omelette” recipe. This time was different. For this time, I presented two Jamie Oliver recipes at one meal, and one far outranked the other. Welcome to the match between Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties.



Presenting the First Contestant: Fresh Tomato Soup and Little Cheddar Soldiers

Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties
All the ingredients laid out for the meal preparation.

Searching through Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain recipe book revealed an amazingly simple soup. After buying the ingredients at the local Sam’s Club and Walmart Supercenter, I rolled up my sleeves and set to work on creating Fresh Tomato Soup and Little Cheddar Soldiers.

Creating Fresh Tomato Soup first involved blending the main ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, basil, and so forth. Jamie Oliver provided me some freedom in how smooth I wanted the soup. So, I made the soup chunky, and I set it to boil.

Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties
Little Cheddar Soldiers straight from the oven.

As the soup began to boil, following the instructions, I cut some crusty bread and made Little Cheddar Soldiers with them. Allow me to cut straight to the chase with these Little Cheddar Soldiers: They were outstandingly good! I had followed the instruction to a T, adding good amounts of sharp cheddar, thyme, and Worcester sauce, and the resulting flavor was beyond my imagination. Every soup should have these elongated, cheesy croutons.

Returning to the Fresh Tomato Soup, I read the instructions and realized Jamie Oliver had provided me with more freedom regarding the sea salt, ground pepper, and white wine vinegar. He wrote down the instructions to season to the cook’s taste. And that’s where the match between Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties began….



Presenting the Opponent: Evening Butties Filled with Meats and Sauces

Within the breakfast section in Jamie Oliver’s cookbook existed a few paragraphs on the traditional Breakfast Butty. Reading the page gave me the idea of creating Evening Butties – an idea which Jamie Oliver suggested in his cookbook – to go along with the soup. The meat-filled butties looked particularly good, so I set to work.

Picking up some flavorful spicy sausage at Walmart, my husband sliced the links into manageable pieces and cut them in half. He grilled them on the stovetop. Earlier I had defrosted some Sam’s Club bacon from the freezer. Taking this, Alex sizzled the bacon in its grease and served them alongside the sausage links.

Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties
My Evening Butty creation, with help from my husband.

After I sliced some rolls, I placed them in the toaster to make them even crustier. Popping up from the toaster as delightfully soft and crusty, I proceeded to add some Heinz ketchup and Worcester sauce on one side, and HP Sauce and Worcester sauce on the other side. Like Jamie Oliver had said, the sauces simply melted into the crusty bread, yet without turning the bread into something soggy.

To satisfy all those coming to dinner, I separated the bacon and the sausage and put them into separate rolls. This way the dinner guests had two sandwiches to choose from. But! Fresh Tomato Soup still had some throws to punch….



Why Salt Can Be  an Enormous Mistake in Cooking

You guessed it, I over-salted the soup. Thinking the Fresh Tomato Soup as good, yet somewhat bland, I poured in some sea salt, ground pepper, and white wine vinegar. On the first seasoning round, the soup still tasted somewhat bland. Thinking some extra sea salt would solve the dilemma, I generously poured some in. Oops. One particular guest and I refused to finish the soup at the dinner table based on how miserably salty I had made it.

Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties
Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties presented for a table of four.

Meaty Evening Butties won the match between Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties. The pure, unadulterated taste from Jamie Oliver’s recommended butties far outdid my attempt at creating flavorful Fresh Tomato Soup. Merely leaving out the salt probably would have done better.

Nevertheless, I recommend both recipes to every cook out there. The Little Cheddar Soldiers go fabulously well with the Fresh Tomato Soup, and the Evening Butties serve well during any time of day. As for me, I need more practice in seasoning soup.



Josh Gates Searched for and Found the Irish Banshee on Destination Truth

Josh Gates Searched for and Found the Irish Banshee on Destination Truth

Lethal, fairy tale phantoms and creatures have haunted Ireland for centuries, according to the Irish townsfolk. In particular, they hold a special reverence for the Irish Banshee. Based on the mysterious happenings at a certain dilapidated medieval castle near the cliff-side, the screaming Banshee seems to have settled itself there.

Destination Truth producers sent worldwide adventurer, Josh Gates, to Ireland to search for the notorious phantom. Here he questioned the townsfolk. And after hearing about the medieval ruins, he set out to find this terrible phantom. Strange events happened there. Afterwards, leaving Ireland, Josh Gates insisted the Irish Banshee is more than a mere fairy tale. Or, are the Destination Truth producers selling tall tales?



Why Josh Gates Searched for the Irish Banshee in the First Place

People around the world watch, know, and love Josh Gates. He is a fun-loving, down-to-earth American who respects and honors other people and cultures. Fellow Americans – and I must assume other people from different nationalities – also hold an interest in Irish folklore. Having combined these two elements, specifically with the infamous Banshee, Destination Truth producers had the perfect episode.

I only question why Josh Gates acted so convinced about the Irish Banshee’s presence? Yes, mysterious noises permeated the otherwise silent night. Some odd shadows appeared inside the castle’s ruins. However, in every abandoned place, there exists wild animals. Some rustle in the bushes, others hide in dark crevices. Demons probably exist, as seen in Josh Gate’s Romanian episode, but they are known to harass living people. Why did Josh so readily believe in the Irish Banshee’s existence?



What Occurred as Josh Gates and His Crew Searched for the Irish Banshee

Little occurred in this episode regarding the Irish episode other than what normally occurs when people go ghost hunting. Inexplicable shadows ran to and fro, up and down castle ruins and yawning lawns. Sounds like a screaming woman – which can be very similar to a howling fox – resound throughout the empty and silent grounds. Bats and birds fly up unexpectedly. All of this spooked Josh Gates and his crew. And soon they “heard” the phantom chasing after them.

What really got the ball rolling was when Barry, who used to host Ghost Hunters International, trained everyone’s eyes on an object on the ground. We television viewers saw nothing, though the camera pointed down to the ground. However, Barry convinced everyone that the Irish Banshee had thrown the unseen object. And if anyone picked it up, they would soon meet their death. Hocus pocus, in my general opinion. They should have picked it up to verify the rumors of the howling Banshee.

Then came the part where Hallie entered the high tower alone, where the Irish Banshee had supposedly been seen, to do a ghostly interview. The metal stairs, which she had just climbed, began making noise, as if the lethal phantom was coming to meet her. She freaked out and began talking on her walkie-talkie. And Josh told her to come down the stairs and investigate what could have made the noise. Nothing else happened.



What I Learned about Josh Gates and the Irish Banshee

To be perfectly honest, I learned more about Josh Gates during this episode than I did about the Irish Banshee. Based on the performance given, Josh Gates serves as the overworked employee to the Destination Truth producers. Either that, or he wants to believe in Irish folklore. Whichever one be the truth, I’m surprised either way.

To the screaming Irish Banshee, where are your victims? What leads the Irish people to wholeheartedly believe they will die if they pick up a thrown item? The wind there howls at night. Animals rustle and hide in crooks and crannies. Shadows appear in odd places throughout the world. All of these could explain the Irish Banshee’s existence. Why believe in a lethal phantom?

This Irish Banshee interests me greatly in folklore. But, in the real world, I’m a sceptic and a naysayer about television’s adventure programs. So, only one question remains: What do you believe?



 

Sunday Afternoon Tea – Exploring Several Odds and Ends in UK Delectables

Sunday Afternoon Tea – Exploring Several Odds and Ends in UK Delectables

Shopping at Cost Plus World Market and Nugget Market has filled our cupboards with UK delectables, including garnishes, sauces, and foods. Many of these items serve well in fancy meals or snacks with children. However, fancy meals and children rarely enter this home, which made the UK garnishes, biscuits, jams, and sweets far too comfortable in sitting and waiting in the cupboard. So, to solve this dilemma, Alex and I decided to have Sunday afternoon tea with all our odds and ends!



Preparation for Sunday Afternoon Tea with UK Delectables

UK Delectables
Preparing the Afternoon Tea – amidst the pizza from the night before.

Alex and I knew from previous study that a proper afternoon tea must have mini sandwiches and scones. Fortunately, earlier in the year, when Alex and I had visited Oregon, we stumbled across some marionberry scone mix. After church service on this particular October Sunday, we also went to the independent grocer in town and bought a cucumber, a red onion, some celery, apple vinegar, and canned chicken.

Using only some water, I quickly and easily prepared the marionberry scones. For the cucumber sandwiches, Alex sliced the cucumber while I mixed some light and regular cream cheese and made the sandwiches. Two chicken salads were made. One with apple vinegar, the other with light mayo. So, using the canned chicken, celery, red onion, and some grapes, together we made half a dozen sandwiches of each chicken salad.



UK Delectables Bought and Consumed on This Particular Occasion

We tried to follow the “British Code” in regards to Afternoon Tea. Unfortunately, on this occasion, America alone grew and packaged the ingredients for the scones and the mini sandwiches. But the aforementioned odds and ends were all UK delectables! The British and Irish foods and treats included in this special occasion for two are listed below:

UK Delectables
The table spread for the Afternoon Tea.
  • Plaza’s Black Capelin Roe
  • Carr’s Table Water Crackers, Original
  • Chivers Olde English Marmalade
  • Full Circle’s European Strawberry Fruit Spread
  • Devon Cream Company’s Luxury Clotted Cream
  • Elizabethan Pantry’s Lemon Curd
  • Candy Kittens’s Gourmet Sweets, Sour Blueberry
  • Farrah’s Rhubarb & Custard Candy
  • English Tea Shop’s White Tea, Blueberry & Elderflower

A special shoutout goes to Plaza’s Black Capelin Roe, Elizabethan Pantry’s Lemon Curd, and English Tea Shop’s White Tea, Blueberry & Elderflower. These three flavorfully unique tastes startled my husband and I with their wholly Irish and British flavors. Sealed tightly and imported straight from overseas, the products popped with strong flavors, freshness, and smoothness on their way down our throats. Buying these three products again became a certainty for the future.



Aiming to Learn How to Best Use UK Delectables

UK Delectables
Munching up the UK delectables.

As happened before in previous posts on the world’s beloved Facebook, I’m certain someone will criticize me on how I used these UK delectables. Therefore, I’m taking the time now to apologize for my ignorance on how to best use these foods and treats. According to what I’ve seen in movies, Carr’s crackers and the caviar would be best served in a party setting. Children would enjoy the sweets, such as the Sour Blueberries and Rhubarb & Custard Candy. But the creams, jams, and tea do seem proper for an Afternoon Tea. Am I wrong?

Thank you for reading! Alex and I had created such a large Afternoon Tea that we filled our bellies long before making any dent on the food. So, I look forward to future days with these UK delectables, and hope to invite friends over for future tea parties. How would you use these delicious garnishes, biscuits, jams, and sweets? Please comment below!



Testing Fragrances Made in the United Kingdom – Swagbucks and the UK Unite

Testing Fragrances Made in the United Kingdom – Swagbucks and the UK Unite

Swagbucks and the UK have miraculously managed to join together in my life. When I received a package from a Swagbucks partner, I found test bottles filled with fragrances made in the United Kingdom. Inspiration hit me hard. Suddenly, amidst all the retail work and home chores, I managed to find my way back here to tell you about the journey I’m about to embark on.

Hold On, Mary. What is Swagbucks?

I’m glad you asked! Allow me to explain how I’ve come to earn nearly 2,000 dollars, over the course of several years, right from my couch at home:

Back in the years 2009 and 2010, fresh out of college and dorm life, I was desperate to find a job and earn some money. Moving out into my own place was my number one priority, but the economy refused to work with me. So, I did the only thing I could think to do: Find money on the internet. Thus, in my searching, I stumbled across Swagbucks.



Completing surveys, watching videos, reading blogs, doing tasks, and shopping online can all earn Swagbucks. This term implies money, specifically one Swagbuck equals one penny in USA currency. Swagbucks are predominantly earned when the user interacts with advertisements from Swagbucks partners.

I highly recommend Swagbucks to anyone struggling to find work. This online company cannot replace any job, including part-time retail jobs. But they can provide reliable spending money for everyday expenses, as well as birthdays, Christmases, and other irresponsibly fun days.

What Arrived in the Mail – Fragrances Made in the United Kingdom

Coming home yesterday evening, my husband came up to me with a package in his hands. Expressing his confusion at having received such a package, since neither he nor I had ordered anything, he handed the parcel over for me to open. Reading the return address on the label instantly revealed a Swagbucks survey partner.



I tore open the packaging, excited to see what samples a survey had sent me. Surprise and delight filled me when I found five small, padded envelopes and instructions to use the fragrance samples inside each envelope on five separate days. I had forgotten about qualifying for a fragrance testing.

Anxious to see what fragrance I would try the next day, I carefully opened the first padded envelope and pulled out a small, clear bottle. The survey panel had labeled the fragrance sample as Z, and given other information in smaller print. Amongst the warning labels and ingredients, I saw the print, “Made in UK.” I was ecstatic.

Fragrances Made in the United Kingdom – Testing Day One, Fragrance Z

Don’t run away yet! I shall spare the details about every fragrance in the testing kit. But please, allow me to describe this first test bottle, labeled as sample Z. For the fragrance, which sprayed out an abundant amount for my wrists and neck, filled the air around me and changed the entire atmosphere.



Does this sound silly to my UK friends? For my limited experience with various fragrances have led me to believe American perfumes are less fragrant. Then again, maybe only the inexpensive fragrances contain less fragrance. Ladies who wear branded fragrances may receive stronger perfumes.

Nevertheless, upon spraying the fragrance sample on my person, I could smell the high class ingredients. This fragrance – whatever the name be – is likely sold in other places other than local pharmaceuticals. This fragrance smelled like money, like the fragrances found on older, well dressed, and expensively adorned women who occasionally walk into my small town’s local shops.

How I Will Respond to Fragrances Made in the United Kingdom

My husband, my father, my brother, and I suffer allergic reactions to strong fragrances. Whether the fragrances originate from candles, incense, or perfume, we start sneezing, sniffing, and holding our heads due to our pounding headaches. Did this high class test sample fragrance give me a headache? Sheepishly I admit, yes, it did. I also sheepishly admit to wanting more such fragrances from the UK.



This girl must have a screw loose in her head, my readers think. Yes, I do! However, knowing this does nothing to prevent me from desiring everything relating to the United Kingdom. So I shall wait for the day when I have earned enough money to experiment with more fragrances made in the United Kingdom. Until then, I shall keep these test bottles and remember to save my money for future UK experiences.

What do my readers know about UK fragrances? Do they tend to be stronger scented than American perfumes? Which do you prefer, strong or soft? Please comment below!

 

How Stevenson’s Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders

How Stevenson’s Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders

School grade teachers and college professors must practice more awareness in what they choose for their students to read. Literature can inspire bad behavior. Just as television can. Or just as theater productions can. But does doubt about this fact cause them indecision on what to read? They need only consider how Robert Louis Stevenson’s literature possibly inspired Jack the Ripper’s murders.

How a Californian Girl Realized Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders

Teachers failed to educate me on the importance in filling one’s mind with positivity and good behavior. Thankfully, my parents picked up on where they lacked. As for the countless other children who received little or no instruction on proper behavior and morals, they live lifestyles brimming with violence, misbehavior, and destruction. Some literature merely encouraged such lifestyles.

As the reader has likely already deducted, criminal investigators and curious citizens around the world wondered about Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack the Ripper. Specifically about how The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde may have inspired the notorious, unidentified London killer. Oddly enough, teachers neglected to teach me this in school. I found out through my own deduction and consequential research.

Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper's Murders
Film production of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Stevenson’s famous novella was first published in 1886. The resulting fame produced theater productions throughout America and England. However, mere days after The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde first played in the London theater in late August 1888, Jack the Ripper mauled and killed his first victim. Had he read the book? Had the play inspired his mania?



Curious Connections on How Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders

In Stevenson’s novella, the character Dr. Henry Jekyll studied and practiced medicine. Living as a bachelor with extensive financial funds, he used his spare time to concoct scientific experiments. This, as everyone knows, led to the birth of Mr. Edward Hyde, a social and criminal deviant.

Based on how Jack the Ripper murdered the Whitechapel women, the inspectors suspected this unidentified man had a background in medical surgery. How he treated the entrails and preserved certain organs especially made this suspicion seem true. But the British police suspected something more.

In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde renditions, whether they be onstage or on film, the writers presented Dr. Jekyll as even more gentlemanly and righteous than Stevenson had written him. To make the doctor seem more traditional and upright, a young woman for Dr. Jekyll to pursue was added. Stevenson had written Dr. Jekyll in a different light, originally. Making the character resemble a genius and someone who brooded over complex subjects.

Jack the Ripper also seemed to contain a certain genius – a genius to avoid the police, if nothing else. The inspectors referred to his likely propensity to brood. Only, instead of brooding over complex subjects, the murderer would brood over which woman to kill and how to kill her.



Personal Opinion on How Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders

Studies throughout the past few decades in the United States have proven the link between bad behavior on television to bad behavior in younger generations. Why television? Because younger generations watch more television than they read or attend theater. The general conclusion is all entertainment forms can have a negative or positive influence on people.

Therefore, I suspect that Stevenson’s literature did partially influence Jack the Ripper. Some sort of chemical imbalance in the brain seems likely, hence why the murderer brooded. But stories have the power to change people, to lead them toward positive forces or negative roads. And too many similar dark ideas and actions came from Stevenson’s literature and Jack the Ripper’s deeds to be unconnected.

What do you think? Do the similarities make you suspect a connection, as well? Or is Robert Louis Stevenson a literary genius and Jack the Ripper some disconnected maniac killer?

Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne in Black Death – Critical Review

Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne in Black Death – Critical Review

Perusing the movie selections on the shelves at Walmart, I was startled to see Boromir from Lord of the Rings staring out at me. Only, on this movie cover, located on a high shelf near the back, a zombie-like creature stood behind him. The movie was titled Black Death, starring English stars Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne.

Black Death‘s Plot and Purpose

Germany financed and English Director Christopher Smith directed this film about witch hunters during the three year Black Death pandemic in England. Originally, English production companies intended to help finance the film. They later refused, for reasons I assume lie within the movie’s plot. Allow me to explain what occurred in the film:

Black Death
Averill and Osmund making plans to flee.

In the year 1348, the Black Death pandemic had entered the England monastery, where our main character was located as a novice. After a few short scenes with those suffering from the black plague, we saw the young novice stealing food from his monastery brothers and, after some deception about feeding the afflicted, giving the food to his secret girlfriend. He told her to flee, for the black plague was spreading. She did, but only after telling him to follow, or else she’d leave him forever.



Novice Osmund prayed for the right decision, and thought he received it when witch hunter Ulric walked in and asked for a guide. Journeying with the witch hunter and his men revealed their twisted sense of kindness and mercy. Where Osmund saw unjust persecution, Ulric saw sin and damnation. Osmund merely persevered to reach his girlfriend, Averill.

What happened when Osmund reached his destination was twisted: He came across Averill’s clothing, torn and blood-splattered. He despaired and grieved. Ulric convinced him to go farther with him and his crew to avoid imminent death. Osmund went and they all reached the witch’s village. The witch played with them, drugging them and causing them to see visions. Then came the climax.

Freezing water trapped Ulric, Osmund, and the other witch hunters. The witch, reveling in her power, gave them the option to forsake God and live, or to remain in the faith and die. Well, as Ulric warned his men, she killed both the questionably faithful and the absolute deserter in the group all alike. However, when Osmund and the witch hunters first arrived at the village, the witch showed Osmund his “dead” girlfriend. And how she had raised her from the dead.



Black Death
Osmund goes to see his “resurrected” Averill.

Believing this story about his girlfriend which the witch had crafted, Osmund questioned whether to forsake God, living in the witch’s village, or to keep his faith and die. He chose the latter. He also chose the latter for his seemingly possessed girlfriend, whom he drove a knife into and killed. Realizing what he had done, the witch acted horrified and exclaimed this as typical for how Christians act.

After quartering Ulric – who, it turned out, had black plague symptoms – everyone fled the scene. This left Osmund and one somewhat kindly witch hunter. Osmund followed the fleeing witch, intending to kill her, but learned the horrible truth instead: His girlfriend had never been dead, merely drugged and used to fool Osmund. Needless to say, the witch got away, leaving Osmund stunned, horrified, grieving, and hopeless.

The narrator, who turned out to be the somewhat kindly witch hunter, ended the film. He talked about the rumors he heard about Osmund turning into a witch hunter and killing many innocent women from his grief-driven madness. Overall, the film showed God as powerless, and evil as superior.

What British News Sources Taught Me About Black Death

Silly and historically inaccurate, said the writer for The Guardian. This particular article used references to describe how some witch hunting did occur in England, but predominantly in different centuries. Also, villages did learn to target mostly women, but this occurred only after a couple centuries after the mid-1300’s. And the degree of violence against innocent women in general never reached the extreme that this movie portrayed, at least in England.

Based on this information, I concluded English film producers refused to finance this film because the film writer had over-exaggerated this dark historical period. Moreover, this film was produced in the year 2010, while her majesty Queen Elizabeth II had (and still has) power. Because this film portrayed England and God in a negative light, the loyal citizens would have none of it. Thank God for Britain’s good sense.

Surprising Actors Found in Black Death

Black Death
Sean Bean as Ulric

Of course, I already mentioned my surprise to see Sean Bean dressed very similarly to his character “Boromir, son of Denethor II” in The Lord of the Rings on this film’s cover. In The Lord of the Rings, Bean’s character encouraged both dislike and understanding in the viewers. He was a gray character. Therefore, to see him as witch hunter Ulric, another brutal and daring role, brought about mixed feelings.

Alex and I failed to recognize Eddie Redmayne’s name. However, early on in the film, Alex piped up and said, “Hey, it’s Newt!” The nagging feeling I had about this character was solved. For Eddie Redmayne had played the beloved Newt in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He played Osmund, the main character, in Black Death. Recognizing him as Newt made his ending in Black Death much harder to accept.

One Christian’s Opinion on Whether or Not to Watch Black Death

If my readers are strong believers in the Christian faith, like my husband and I, then they will severely dislike this film. At the beginning, the possibility of a strong Christian message appeared so likely as to give my husband and I hope for a happy ending. These hopes disappeared as the film progressed. In the end, we felt nothing but shame at how the film writer portrayed the Christian believers, if they could even be called believers.

How Osmund turned out also doesn’t sit well with me. He started off devout and loving. He questioned the monastery life, like the Protestant Christians did, and wished for a wife. His faith seemed genuine. However, when the witch tricked him, and he ended up killing his love, his faith didn’t save him. He become corrupted, in mind and spirit. True faith would heal all wounds, even those from a powerful witch and necromancer. Osmund’s faith should have kept him in the light.

Overall, I think the film did well in regards to acting and scene setting, but the plotline was terrible. History as it played out in the real world is frightening enough. Mixing history for a fictional horror film seems unnecessary. I recommend watching this film when my readers feel the need for something eerie. But, please, try to ignore the social agenda in the film, for only those enslaved to sin do such horrific deeds. And, as to witches, we all have different beliefs regarding witches and necromancers.



 

Modern Writers and Mary Shelley – What We Can Learn from Her Literature, Thinking, and Life

Modern Writers and Mary Shelley – What We Can Learn from Her Literature, Thinking, and Life

Anyone and everyone who has attempted to read great classic literature at some point in his or her life assuredly has borrowed or bought a dozen or more novels from famous past British and Irish authors. I own 50 such novels or more. To begin the Halloween season’s celebrations, I pulled out Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. To review the horror elements within the story was my aim.

The Wordsworth Classics edition I own started the book with a blatant appeal for the readers to skip the introductory novel analysis and to start the classic story. I did as told, and first read Mary Shelley’s explanation on how she dreamed about a mad scientist’s living creation. From this simple explanation did my heart reach out to her and fill with empathy and awe. Allow me to explain how modern writers can learn from Mary Shelley.

What Mary Shelley’s Story Explanation Said About Her Thoughts and Her Life

I will refrain from pouring over the explanation about how Mary Shelley dreamed up Frankenstein’s monster. Instead, I will attempt to describe what the young married woman revealed about herself in her explanation.

A proper description would include an extensive knowledge about religion, politics, and society during the late 18th – early 19th century. But I have very little knowledge right now about such history. What I can do is describe how young people, especially young writers, have very much in common with Mary Shelley.



America attempts to downplay how much religion affected past British writers in their literature and dissertations. However, religion and society norms genuinely seemed to lead Mary Shelley in her life and in her writing. For example, when in the presence of her husband and Lord Byron, she settled down to listen without speaking. Doing so provided her with much information. More information than what she and other women were accustomed to receiving.

As a young married woman, Mary Shelley struggled to keep up conversation with her husband in academical and world interests. She admitted to keeping up on her personal studies, to better converse with him, as opposed to writing and publishing as both her parents did. She was a young woman split between her desires to please her husband and fulfill personal achievement.

How Modern Writers Can Relate to Mary Shelley

Choosing to engage in personal studies to converse with her husband on a daily basis proved her respect for Christian principals. For the Holy Bible says to cling to one another in marriage, to love and respect each other. Mary Shelley knew her husband needed intellectual stimulation. So she studied to provide him with such stimulation, improve her own mind, and maintain a happy, healthy relationship with him.

Unfortunately for the young writer, her husband also wanted to see her write. How could she keep up intellectually and write to became famous like her author parents at the same time? Like everyone today, she struggled to fulfill everyone’s wishes and her own desires with the limited time provided for her.



An even better relation on how modern writers can relate to Mary Shelley comes in the form about conforming to society norms. In the ten or fifteen years between Frankenstein prints, Mary Shelley revised a few spots so as to keep from upsetting the public readers. Today, predominantly most bestsellers conform to politically left-wing views and beliefs. Writers who write about opposing views must find different publishers.

Overall, Mary Shelley’s whole demeanor in her personal note seemed to portray a quiet, imaginative, and somewhat anxious young married woman who aimed to please everyone around her. Frankenstein resulted from conversation between her husband and Lord Byron on current developments during the period. Then her imagination took over, and the short novel resulted. Her aim had never been to change society or religion with her writing.

What Mary Shelley’s Character Betrays About Frankenstein

Both my husband and I read Frankenstein in high school as required reading. I remember enjoying the book, thinking it bespoke much about how the young woman thought about people. Remembering this makes me excited to read it again. Since my age has nearly doubled, what will I learn in this second reading of this young woman’s fine thoughts? I look forward to finding out.

Have you read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? What do you like most about the novel? What do you think Mary Shelley revealed about herself in her changes and her way of writing and living?