the vicarage

Happy Miss Marple Monday Everyone!

Joan as Miss Marple in The Murder At The Vicarage (1986) with Paul Eddington as Reverend Leonard Clement


“Grantchester Meadows is a Roger Waters song, originally performed solo on the ‘Ummagumma’ album, that celebrates the English countryside, as in other compositions such as ‘Time’. This special group performance, taped for the BBC, with acoustic guitars and vocals from Roger Waters and David Gilmour, plus additional piano from Richard Wright and taped songbirds, successfully evokes a summer’s day in Grantchester, a small village close to Cambridge, England. Grantchester’s famous former residents include the Edwardian poet Rupert Brooke, who moved there and subsequently wrote a poem of homesickness entitled ‘The Old Vicarage, Grantchester’. Taken from ‘The Early Years 1965 – 1972’.”
Creative Director: Aubrey Powell, Hipgnosis. 2016 footage directed and edited by Nick Edwards. Performance footage director: John Coney for KQED, San Francisco 1970.
Audio recorded for BBC Radio, 12 May 1969.

Ok so

Barbara & Phyllis share a room
Trixie and Patsy (& while she’s gone, Valerie) share
Delia has a single

But Barbara’s engaged and will be moving to the vicarage when married. Soooo then when Patsy gets back she’ll be assigned to share with Phyllis… and Phyllis knows about Patsy & Delia… so she might ask if she can have the single and then PATS AND DELS GET THEIR OWN ROOM.


The Vicarage, Edensor, Chatsworth Estate

Home of the late Debo, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire after the death of her husband, the Duke

Photos: Sotheby’s Auction House


“We’re all very ordinary in St. Mary Mead, but ordinary people can sometimes do the most astonishing things.”


I love crime novels and I’ve made it my mission to get others hooked too, so here are some of my favourites! My favourite authors are bolded, and if they’ve written more crime stories than the ones listed here, I’ll put a + after their name. 

  • The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton+
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie+ (Hercule Poirot)
  • Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (Miss Marple)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot)
  • The Broken Jug by Heinrich von Kleist (german)
  • A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle+
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe+
  • The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (italian)
  • The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers+
  • Milchgeld by Volker Klüpfl/Michael Kobr+ (german)
  • Death in Brittany by Jean-Luc Bannalec+ (german)
  • The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby
  • Murder in the Rue Dumas by Mary L. Longworth+
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith+
  • Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell+ (swedish)
  • Mademoiselle de Scuderi by E.T.A. Hoffmann (german)
  • The Crime at Lock 14 by Georges Simenon+ (belgian)
  • Schwarze Piste by Andreas Föhr+ (german)

It was really hard to choose these, but I hope this final list contains some good beginner’s recommendations for people who don’t quite know where to start. There are classics and modern novels, humorous and serious ones, novellas and series… Most of these have been translated into numerous languages (I’ve given you the original language in brackets!). 

!: None of these are thrillers or otherwise completely gruesome and hardcore stories, because I certainly wouldn’t want to read any of those (hence why there’s no Simon Beckett, Ferdinand von Schirach, Adler-Olsen etc.). All of the books listed here also have humorous aspects and hopefully won’t leave you sad and scared at the end! :)

Let me know what your favourite crime novels are, if you also like any of these listen here or if you think there’s something missing! I’d love to hear your recommendations! :) 

afirewiel  asked:

I get why Mr. Elton married his wife. She's rich. She comes from a wealthy family. Which begs the question, why did she marry him? She did she give all that up to become the wife of a country vicar? Was there seriously no one else that would take her?

Oh, I am so glad you asked. Essentially, it comes down to the fine distinctions and interactions between money (which Augusta Elton, nee Hawkins, has plenty of,) and class/breeding (which she has not.)

To start with, let’s examine what various people throughout the novel have to say of Mr. Elton, a handsome vicar of 26 or 27.

He is often described in the most glowing terms, even by those who are not Harriet and Emma while they (or at least Emma) are actively scheming for him on Harriet’s behalf–Mr. Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley are not alone in praising Mr. Elton’s virtues.

“…pretty, well-liked, gentle manners more than Knightley or Weston…”
“…good humoured, cheerful, obliging, and gentle.”
“…quite the gentleman himself, without any low connections…” with a “comfortable home,” and a “very sufficient income.”
“…good-humoured, well-meaning, respectable…” with useful knowledge of the world and a good understanding.
“…a very pleasing young man, a young man whom an woman not fastidious might like…”
“Mr. Elton had not his equal for beauty or agreeableness.”
“…reckoned very handsome…”
“Elton is a very good sort of man, and a very respectable vicar of Highbury, but not at all likely to make an imprudent match.”
“He knows he is a very handsome young man, and a great favourite wherever he goes…”
“…the handsomest man that ever was, and a man that every body looks up to…his company so sought after that he need not eat a single meal by himself…”
“…Never saw a man more intent on being agreeable. It is downright labour to him where ladies are concerned. With men he can be rational and unaffected, but when he has ladies to please every feature works.”
“Mr. Elton is the standard of perfection in Highbury, both in person and mind.”

[Emma herself says this last bit of praise to Jane Fairfax after the news of Mr. Elton’s engagement to Miss Hawkins. Granted it is prior to his sneering treatment of Harriet and Emma at the ball and Box Hill picnic, but he’s already given away his own pompousness and truly resentful nature by small hints…but there is yet a powerful public image of Mr. Elton in society which Emma’s privately growing dislike cannot hope to counteract. Again, in the interests of being neighbourly in such a small community, Emma is forced to tell polite fibs when it comes to somebody she cannot stand.]

While the vicarage is not so pretty nor grand as Hartfield or Donwell Abbey, it is nonetheless acknowledged to be a comfortable property–it would have been the home of Mrs. and Miss Bates, before the death of Mr. Bates, and so it is certainly a genteel home. In addition to this, it is noted that Mr. Elton also possesses some other independent property, and while it’s not specified what addition this is to his income, it is an added measure of security, and further cementing his place as a part of the landed gentry. His mother and sisters, moreover, are hinted to reside in London at least part of the time, and in no shabby fashion.

He’s young, widely acknowledge to be handsome, and his manners extremely pleasing, especially as he exerts himself to the utmost to please around ladies. While it is surprising to some that he should be able to secure an engagement to a young lady within four weeks, he must have been putting the pedal to the metal in Bath to woo the lady of his choice, and as Augusta Hawkins was apparently “easily impressed” and “ready to have him”, it must have been pretty easy to get her…but then she has her own particular reasons for wanting such a match as Mr. Elton, beyond his personal charms–chiefly, his position as a gentleman of property and a respectably genteel profession.

Now let us consider Miss Hawkins, who is to become Mrs. Elton–while Mr. Elton has first set his sights on Emma and her 30 000 pound dowry, he has also spoken of a large party of ladies in Bath, intimate friends of his own sisters, who each have 20 000 pounds apiece. It is also noted that if he has no success with Emma and her 30 000, he’d move on to a lady with 20 000, then 10…and so on.

As his match is made within four weeks of his departure from Highbury for Bath, he evidently skips the 20 000 pound option (or finds it impossible to secure quickly, if haste must be his object, as a clergyman cannot neglect his parish for very long holidays to go chasing after a wife, and his prime object then is to find a rich and admirable bride to flaunt in Highbury as soon as possible to prove his own consequence, rather than dwell in the shame of his rejection by Emma. Miss Hawkins is NOT one of these ladies who are friends of his sisters, as we later find out–she has ‘only’ 10 000 pounds to her dowry, though that is no paltry sum, certainly. Money, however, is not all there is to her. We know plenty of other facts about Augusta Hawkins, or can fill in with safe assumptions what is left vague:

She is initially rumoured to be “handsome, elegant, highly accomplished, and perfectly amiable”–now, as this is all before anybody in Highbury has met her, it’s meant to be taken with a grain of salt, and as her arrival rather proves that she is not elegant, nor all that accomplished, nor anything like perfectly amiable, though some other characters refer to her as being good-looking, there is certainly nothing like any glowing praise of looks which may be offered to other young ladies, like Jane Fairfax or even Harriet Smith, and it may simply be politeness making the most of average charms. I doubt Mr. Elton would have married an ugly woman, but in being damned by faint praise, I think we can safely assume Augusta Hawkins is nothing especially spectacular in her looks.

She is the “youngest of the two daughters of a Bristol – merchant…” whose parents are both now dead, and who is kept by an uncle “in the law line”, and not evidently at all distinguished. I’ve written before on the differences a man’s career might make to his apparent class-level, and a man “in the law line” without the distinguishing factor of being a well-to-do barrister, is not of the gentry. All of Augusta Hawkins’ money is very new, and entirely from trade–there is nothing to connect their family to the gentry except, now, the marriages of these two daughters. The elder, Selina, apparently made the more glorious match with Mr. Suckling, a man of leisure and property at Maple Grove. (Also, look at the given names of Selina and Augusta–both very fashionable Greco-Roman names, compared to the old English names of the other women in the novel–Emma, Harriet, Anne, Jane…even in their Christian names, the Hawkins girls are set apart to seem flashier, and ‘newer’, with a greater push for seeming grandiose.) Augusta’s endless talk of her high connections, her contradictory statements to attempt to hastily ingratiate herself with whatever genteel person (usually a gentleman) happens to be talking, her affected use of the bad Italian ’caro sposo’ to affectionately refer to her husband…all these things point to Augusta being desperate to make herself a place among the quieter, genteel folk of Highbury, having first seen her sister married into a barely-genteel-though-rich establishment, and now herself accepting a place as a wife to a man with a less impressive income, but a much more impressive pedigree and undeniable respectability.

We cannot be deceived by how much Augusta talks up Maple Grove and the Sucklings and her connection to them. Later on, she lets slip that Maple Grove was only purchased 11 years earlier, (she thinks just prior to old Mr. Suckling’s death, making the estate only technically In the Family for two generations, at a stretch,) while she is berating another family–the Tupmans, who come from Birmingham and have probably made their own fortune by trade or some other undistinguished but honest line of work, who bought West Hall near Maple Grove and now presume to address themselves to the Sucklings as equal neighbours–for being upstarts. The Tupmans are precisely what the Sucklings were only ten years previously, yet Mrs. Elton loves to talk of her sister’s people as though they are landed gentry of long standing. She talks of Maple Grove as a 'seat’, when it is simply a country house, no more, no less. Mr. Suckling has no title, nor does he own any other property. (If he did have any town-houses or other second-homes, I have no doubt we would hear no fucking end of it from Mrs. E.) But Mrs. Elton jumps at the chance to compare Hartfield to Maple Grove, to talk very generally of what the landed gentry are like, with their extensive grounds, etc.., though Emma, very much OF the landed gentry, privately disagrees with her presumptions. Augusta often hints at her intimacy with the Sucklings and such people as if it is to her credit, as well as talking a great deal of their TWO fashionable carriages–going so far as to mention the barouche-landau so frequently that it comes up three times in a single block of (presumably breathless) dialogue.

Augusta also sniffs at Mr. Weston’s story of how Mrs. Churchill was 'barely a gentleman’s daughter’ before marriage, only to now have swelled to even greater pride than was already in the Churchill family she married into–without seeming to realize that she herself stands a fair chance of doing exactly the same thing in the years to come–and worse, for nobody would argue that Miss Hawkins, for all her money and finery and put-on airs of breeding, was a gentleman’s daughter. No, her father was in trade–and while that is not in itself a mark against her, it highlights her own hypocrisy and clumsy, social-climbing ways. (Jane Austen’s father’s family were themselves descended from wool merchants, and only by his own education and his marriage to Cassandra Leigh, a comparatively-poor daughter of a more ancient line of genteel people, was his family admitted among the minor gentry. Jane would have been well-aware of the criss-crossing of social class lines and how 'good breeding’ could oftentimes be at odds with material wealth.) Augusta, digging for compliments and declaring she has 'a horror of upstarts’, cannot begin to fathom how she is hurting her own cause by her hypocrisy.

We know that Selina Hawkins married Mr. Suckling (himself scarcely a gentleman,) which was supposed to be a very grand match, for her. Augusta’s age is never specified that I can recall, but she seems very eager not to be left behind, though her sister has married, and apparently her connections to Maple Grove have not yet helped her to find another Mr. Suckling, there. In an effort to be wittily pert, she leaps at the chance to contradict Mr. Weston’s attempt to compliment the strength of ladies in general, and ends up giving a spirited defense to the notion that women are squeamish and weak creatures, and inadvertently disavowing that her sister is a fine lady–the precise opposite of what she wished to do, but she spoke so quickly that she cannot immediately think of a way to counteract it without sounding completely stupid, even to herself. Rather than listening and actually saying something sensible, Augusta rushes out to behave as she might have read or imagined a spirited, educated woman ought to do, and only succeeds in putting her foot in her mouth. (She’s a less-clever Miss Bingley who imagines herself a Lizzie Bennet.)

Augusta, before her marriage, still lives with her low-connection uncle in Bristol (despite her insistence that she’s spent months staying at Maple Grove, though Selina and Mr. Suckling have likely only been married less than two years by this point–the barouche-landau having been acquired only 18 months previous…possibly at the insistence of the new Mrs. Suckling?) Despite her principal residence being in Bristol, Augusta spends her winters in Bath with her friend Mrs. Partridge, whose acquaintance she offers to further with Emma in a broad hint that it would help Emma meet and catch a husband. Emma is, naturally, affronted at this suggestion, surmising that Mrs. Partridge is “probably some vulgar, dashing widow” who takes in boarders to help pad out her meager income. Though Bath was a spa town, and, given its southern location, probably had a fair amount of society throughout the winter months, the social season itself was more largely confined to the spring–the winter would be a cheaper and quieter season to spend in such a city, with many of its visiting residents there for their health, rather than strictly pleasure. That Augusta is regularly in Bath for the cheaper, less-social time of the year, even with a healthy dowry and adequate prettiness, is perhaps telling as to why she jumps at her chance to marry a handsome and well-set-up young gentleman! It may be that she appears to her best advantage when she is NOT surrounded in society by many gentleman’s daughters with greater assets than even she has got. Money, as she is well aware, isn’t everything–but it’s about all she’s got.

So much of Emma is an examination of how we let those around us affect our own views and behaviour. Compare Augusta to Harriet, who is certainly of lower origins, but whose sweet temper, obliging ways, and humble acceptance of who she is ultimately lead her to respectability and happiness when united with Robert Martin–only when Emma tries to drag her upwards in the world by marriage do things begin to go wrong for Harriet. Emma Woodhouse is certainly a snob, but I think the ultimate take-away from the cautionary tales of the novel is not 'know your place and never stray from it’, but to make certain that your aspirations are in keeping with what will do the truest good for you and those around you. In the end, it’s acknowledged that Harriet would have been a far better match for Elton than Augusta, as her personal virtues far outweigh the lapse of her birth and indifferent education, whereas Augusta’s riches and trying-too-hard ways endear her to absolutely nobody except perhaps the vain and pompous Mr. Elton–but their ardour is that of newlyweds, and those who wish to show off their marital success as a gloating snub to others, rather than anything like true affection.

A lapse in fate | 3

pairing: Jean-François Mercier x Betty

rating: teen and up

word count: 3.5k

Genre: slow build romance, murder mystery

summary: WW2.  When Colonel Mercier recruits Betty for the Special Operation Executives— aka Churchill’s secret army— it’s her chance to escape her fate, at least temporarily. It seems like a good idea until she overhears a conversation she shouldn’t have and she has to work with Jean-François to stop a traitor in their midst.

Previous chapters  | Ao3

Chapter 3: Przedwiosnie

27 February 1942

“Oh, bugger, where’s me lipstick?”

Betty pulled the top drawer out of the bureau and emptied its content on the bed. She needed that lipstick. “Regimental red,” the shade was called. She had to look the part, like those ladies on recruitment posters, they always had perfect make up. She spotted her sister’s tube, but Margaret snatched it up before she could take a hold of it.

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mybelladuveen  asked:

Hi, this is for the latest headcanon ask you posted: Sam and Andrew - 8 (Imagining they did, of course!)

In a temporarily-vacant vicarage somewhere in Cornwall, late July or early August, 1945

“Shall I…” Sam begins, and then draws a deep breath and changes tack. “I’m going to get ready for bed,” she says. She stands up and puts her book down on the table. “See you upstairs?” she says. The words seem loud in the quiet house.

Andrew’s still for a moment, the book he’s not reading poised in his hands.  “Could I…” He’s pale, and his voice is a little rough. “Could I come help you?”

“All right,” Sam answers.


Andrew’s awkward, but very gentle, unfastening the buttons at her cuffs and untying the floppy bow at the neck of her blouse. Well, he wouldn’t have played with dolls, or dressed any babies, Sam thinks, with a queer clarity.  He unfastens the mismatched button that the bow hid, then spreads her collar-ends apart with both hands. His thumbs rest lightly on her collarbone, then stroke outwards.  Sam’s lips part around a sigh.

“All right, sweetheart?” he asks.

“Yes,” she answers.

Another button, and another. The tops of her brassiere show now. It’s not a pretty one, she hasn’t any pretty ones, but Andrew’s touch is reverent on the much-washed cloth. He draws the edges of her blouse apart and, after another cautious look that she answers with a nod, leans in to kiss her bare skin. First below the point of her collarbone, and then below that, and finally just above the brassiere. Sam takes a sharp breath, then brings up a hand to keep Andrew’s head where it is before he can pull back.

“Yes,” she says again. “Please, yes.”