Those of you familiar with my somewhat free-range reading choices know that I don't shy away from the Victorian-era novels. I'm a fan of Dickens, Hardy, Eliot, the Brontes etc. You know? The writers so well-known they don't need first names?
Currently I am in the midst of a real doorstop of a massive tome.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. First published in 1860, apparently an age in which razors, electric or otherwise, were yet to be invented.
<-- Look at the rat's nest on the guy!
I loved his other famous novel, The Moonstone, and this one is also a dandy.
Thing about these Victorians that always throws me for a loop is how long it takes them to say stuff.
I mean… the excessive verbiage. Trollope is a fine example.
For instance, here in my current book, the sweet heroine Laura Fairlie has been betrothed to this guy Percival, but in the meantime she has fallen in love with another guy, her art teacher, Walter Hartright. So she figures she should tell Percival of this complication prior to any actual nuptials taking place. White-knuckled, poor Percival grips the table and hears --
"I have heard," she said, "and I believe it, that the fondest and truest of affections is the affection which a woman ought to bear her husband. When our engagement began that affection was mine to give, if I could, and yours to win, if you could. Will you pardon me, and spare me, Sir Percival, if I acknowledge that it is not so any longer?"
The wild thing is that Percy totally GETS the message.
If that was me I would have said, "Darling… umm, me no understandee!"
It just so cracks me up how these crazy Victorians say things.
So -- I'm going to start talking like this, I think.
Next time I idle the ol' Mazda up to the Drive-Thru I'm going to say:
Salutations! sincere disembodied voice that hearkens from yon speaker grill. Prithee forgive my voluble pangs of hunger, but I beg of thy comrades, perhaps mingling thine own ministrations in said process, yea, in consort with thy various scullery-bound hair-netted culinary youthservants, thou wouldst together provide me victuals in the manner of two buns betwixt which lie fulsome layers of roasted bovine avec fromage!
Then I'm going to floor it to the pickup window where the kid will probably be checking his headset for interference from outer space!