September 7th, 2011

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Jane Eyre, BFI

I saw the preview of the new film Jane Eyre at the BFI yesterday. As I said, Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books EVER. I read the novel originally in my teens, and I have re-read it many times since. I always aspired to be like Jane - she is very resilient in the face of devastating adversity, she is completely independent at a time when the vast majority of women were not at all so, she has real spirit, she has integrity and principles, and she is courageous. I cannot think of a better role model for women, even modern-day women.

The film is outstanding - I loved it! It really captures the heart and soul of the novel. Jane is as she should be - plain but resilient, independent, spirited, and courageous. Mr Rochester is exactly right too - torn, decent, passionate, honest, and trying his best in very difficult circumstances. They both have real character. The screenplay is very true to the spirit of the novel. It retains all the key moments and the key dialogue. I love this film and throughly recommend it to everyone, including any women looking for inspiration!

I thought I would quote one of my favourite passages from the novel to whet your appetite, a passage that is reproduced very faithfully in the film:

“I tell you I must go!” I retorted, roused to something like passion. “Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automaton?—a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!—I have as much soul as you, and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal—as we are!”

“As we are!” repeated Mr. Rochester—“so,” he added, enclosing me in his arms, gathering me to his breast, pressing his lips on my lips: “so, Jane!”

“Yes, so, sir,” I rejoined: “and yet not so; for you are a married man—or as good as a married man, and wed to one inferior to you—to one with whom you have no sympathy—whom I do not believe you truly love; for I have seen and heard you sneer at her. I would scorn such a union: therefore I am better than you—let me go!”

“Where, Jane? To Ireland?”

“Yes—to Ireland. I have spoken my mind, and can go anywhere now.”

“Jane, be still; don't struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation.”

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”

Another effort set me at liberty, and I stood erect before him.

“And your will shall decide your destiny,” he said: “I offer you my hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions.”

Buy the book here for the unbeatable price of £1.99. The film is excellent yes, but the source material is even better!:
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Sidney Paget Illustrations: "The Death of Sherlock Holmes"

Here is the third of my iconic Signey Paget illustrations from the Strand magazine.

Picture credit:

"A few words may suffice to tell the little that remains. An examination by experts leaves little doubt that a personal contest between the two men ended, as it could hardly fail to end in such a situation, in their reeling over, locked in each other's arms. Any attempt at recovering the bodies was absolutely hopeless, and there, deep down in that dreadful cauldron of swirling water and seething foam, will lie for all time the most dangerous criminal and the foremost champion of the law of their generation."

- The Adventure of the Final Problem

Now, as we all know, Reichenbach will feature in the second series of Sherlock, which is not airing until the New Year. However, what I have done is come up with the nearest possible equivalent from the first series (nothing gets in the way of Raks Patel promoting Sherlock!):

Photo credit: aithine

And that face - classic! Which is another excuse for me to give a HUGE shout out to the genius that is Andrew Scott! (and yes, in case you have not guessed, I am totally smitten with Mr Scott, after Emperor and Galilean!).
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Promoting a Positive Young People's Image - 99% Campaign Poster on Tube & Over-Ground network

Cut and pasted from an email from the 99 per cent campaign:

During September, commuters travelling on Transport for London’s (TFL) tube and over ground network will see posters promoting Independent Academic Research Studies’ (IARS) youth-led 99% campaign.

The posters highlight some of the positive activities that young Londoners are engaged in and signposts opportunities to make the capital a better place.

Lizzie Noel the Mayor’s adviser on volunteering said:
“London is brimming with talented, bright and motivated young people who can often get overlooked. Not only are they excelling in education, they often find time to help out and volunteer in their communities as well. This campaign celebrates the majority who make London proud. And if you’d like to get involved in one of our Team London volunteering initiatives, we will happily welcome you on board.”

The 99% campaign is a pan-London, youth-led, positive initiative that brings together key public, private and civil society organisations to dispel stereotypes about young people and make London a safer, more inclusive and cohesive place for all.

Dr. Theo Gavrielides, IARS Founder and Director, said:
“The message of the posters is very simple and yet so easily forgotten. IARS and the 99% campaign hope that stereotypes are addressed while more opportunities are created for future young leaders. We are grateful to TFL, MPS and the Mayor’s office for believing in the campaign”.

Detective Chief Supt Mick McNally from the Metropolitan Police Service said:
"London is one of the safest major cities in the world where serious violent crime is reducing and people are feeling safer. Despite the sad images of disorder seen on the streets of London this summer the majority of young people are law abiding and don't get into trouble, and many make a valuable and positive contribution to the communities of London. This includes 2200 volunteer cadets in the MPS who give up their own time to give something back."

Graham Robb, Board Member of the Youth Justice Board said:
" ...and we know that even the 1% can turn their lives around - which is why YJB supports the 99% campaign".

The campaign was developed by young Londoners and run by the charity, Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS) with the support of a Core Partners Group including the Mayor’s Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), Youth Justice Board, TFL and London Councils.

Steve Burton, Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing at TfL, said:
“We are pleased to be supporting the 99% campaign and displaying the important campaign messages across our Tube and Overground networks. Young people make up a large proportion of the travelling public and we believe this is a very worthy campaign that helps bring attention to the efforts that young people make everyday to ensure our city is a better place.”

The poster campaign is supported by the Mayor’s Office, TFL and MPS and it comes at a crucial time. Following the riots in London in August, the negative image portrayed of young people in the capital has been exacerbated. The poster serves as a reminder that in fact most young Londoners are not involved in criminal behaviour and that a significant number give their time voluntarily to make London a better place.

This poster is one of many projects that highlight the 99% Campaign’s key message that many young Londoners are playing their part to make London a better place. The poster also provides information about how young and adult Londoners can access to Team London portal ( to get involved in many volunteering opportunities in London, for example with uniformed groups through You London. More information about future projects and opportunities on how to get involved with the 99% can be found by visiting and

Independent Academic Research studies:
99% campaign::