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she was......dead!

As some of you know, I love Victorian "sensation novels" like The Woman in White and Lady Audley's Secret (the latter was recommended to me by none other than Sarah Waters, when I interviewed her, and I shall be forever gratfeul, because it's fantastic). Anyway, a few months ago I found a copy of the infamous East Lynne by Mrs Henry Wood, whence come the famous melodramatic lines "gone, gone and never called me mother!" It was brilliant, but none of her other books are in print, and I find most online books (ala gutenberg) really hard to read.

But then! This afternoon I thought I'd have another look, and on this fabulous site, I found this link. And I've spent the entire afternoon reading it, and it's great! Very easy on the eye (in my iBook, anyway), and very exciting. Three melodramatic deaths in the first five chapters! If you're bored at work (or indeed at home), and you like OTT Victoriana, I strongly recommend it. Just scroll down the page for a link to the full thrilling text. I actually now wish I didn't have to go out tonight, because I just want to stay at home and read more of it!


Dec. 7th, 2003 05:07 am (UTC)
Oh, so that's where 'gone, gone and never called me mother' comes from! It's one of my own mother's catchphrases, but I was never sure whether she made it up herself of got it from somewhere. Now I know!
Dec. 7th, 2003 07:37 am (UTC)
Ha! And my mother's! It's great when you find someone who knows your parents obscure catchphrases.

Does anyone else go around saying "Spring is sprung the grass is ris, I wonder where the birdies is?" or "And is there honey still for tea, at number [sixteen]?
Dec. 7th, 2003 07:37 am (UTC)
*mutter*mutter* Bad apostrophe! Running away when i wasn't looking!
Dec. 7th, 2003 08:05 am (UTC)
Ahahaha! My family does 'spring is sprung' etc., but with flowers instead of birdies. But I've never heard the honey one, I'm afraid.
Dec. 9th, 2003 09:28 am (UTC)
With flowers? Intriguing, for then the rest of the rhyme that I know wouldn't work:

Spring is sprung, the grass is ris
I wonder where the birdies is?
They say the bird is on the wing,
But that's absurd -
Because the wing is on the bird.

It's Ogden Nash, I think, but I've never seen it written down so I'm not sure what the punctuation should look like.
Dec. 9th, 2003 09:42 am (UTC)
It is indeed Ogden Nash. He's been one of my favourite poets since I was very wee. How I wanted a "realio, trulio little pet dragon!"
Dec. 9th, 2003 12:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, I've never heard the rest of the rhyme! I imagine my family have bastardised it over time - or perhaps I'm remembering it wrong.
Dec. 8th, 2003 03:47 am (UTC)
And my dad too! "Gone, gone", I mean. I've known the phrase since birth, but didn't know where it was from until recently.

And I cried (cried!) at that ridiculous scene when I read the book. I am, as I think has oft been proved, a sap.

My family say "spring is sprung" sometimes too. In fact, now I come to think of if, half our conversations seem to be comprised of odd quotations! Of course, the most oft used is "as any fool kno"....


fat pony like thunder
The Monkey Princess

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