May 20, 2008

Monkey the First and Then Some

DSC_0812This is such an awful picture but you get the idea. I finished the first Monkey sock on Tuesday night and I think I'm hooked. I'll get better pictures when I finish the second sock. For now I'll just say that the colors are definitely me, the yarn feels great and the pattern makes me smile. I'm pretty sure that there will be many Monkey's in my future.

I also finished a book on Tuesday - Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir. This is the book that I read as part of a school assignment with DQ. We both loved it and it was great fun reading the same book and being able to compare notes along the way although someone really needs to tell my daughter that reading isn't a competitive sport. One evening I ran out to do an errand and she hunted high and low for my copy of the book while I was out so that she could see if I was ahead of her. For the record - she finished first.

This book tells the story of Lady Jane Grey from cradle to grave through a shifting first person narrator. I think that the first person perspective is what helps the time come alive . Until I read this book I had a vague idea about the British monarchy and where everyone fit in but this really crystalized it. The book paints a clear and vivid picture of the people involved and the times they lived in. Some of it was really unsavory and I should say that this book would not be appropriate for most 12 year olds. There are parts of it that are quite rough. The impression that we both came away with is that Lady Jane Grey was a really tragic figure - as much a victim of the times in which she lived as those who used her to further their own ambitions.

Can't finish a post on a down note so instead I leave you with a selection of street art that is currently on display in Crystal City, VA. There are a series of 50 airplanes that dot the city in an exhibit they call Crystal City Takes Flight. I was there for a conference for the first part of this week and thought I'd share a few appealing examples with you. Go see them if you get a chance.

Crystal City Airplane Art

4 comments:

Carole Knits said...

I'm so glad you guys both enjoyed the book and I think you are absolutely correct in your review. I know parts of it were rough and I hope it wasn't inappropriate for DQ.

Sarah said...

There was a movie in the early 80s (early enough that it was Helena Bonham Carter's first film) called "Lady Jane" that told a highly-romanticized version of the story and after seeing it I was obsessed by Tudor England generally and Lady Jane Gray specifically. And I mean seriously obsessed -- I used to go to the college library in my home town to take out books full of copies of the primary-source documents about her life. (And before you ask, yes, I was the nerdiest 13-year-old ever.)

Anyway, that's my long way of saying you might want to look for the DVD on Netflix, since you both enjoyed the book. (The movie is a bit rough in places too -- anything that ends with a 16-year-old being beheaded has to be, but it is mostly a very sweet, if rather fictionalized, romance.) And I'm going to go find myself a copy of the book. I've read Alison Wier's stuff on Elizabeth I, but didn't know she had one on Lady Jane, too.

P.S. Nice monkeys! I did my first pair of those in a very similar colorway.

Krista said...

I watched that Lady Jane movie too and always wondered how accuarate it was. I read Innocent Traitor earlier this year and was not surprised to see it wasn't as romantic of a story as the movie made it out to be! You can't knit just one pair of Monkeys. They are so fun.

Julie said...

Pretty sock!

Where do you find time to do all you do and read too? I haven't finished a book since last summer; seems I only make the time to read while soaking up the sun.