BBC’s “The White Queen” (TV Series 2013)


THE WHITE QUEEN is a period drama (10 episodes long) based on Philippa Gregory‘s bestselling historical novel series The Cousins’ War. While it’s scheduled to premiere on BBC One on 16 JUNE 2013, I’m uncertain how soon it’ll be before we North American folks have access this show.

Summary: Set against the backdrop of the Wars of the Roses, the series is the story of the women caught up in the long-drawn-out conflict for the throne of England. It starts in 1464—the nation has been at war for nine years fighting over who is the rightful King of England, as two sides of the same family, the House of York and the House of Lancaster, are in violent conflict over the throne. The story focuses on three women in their quest for power, as they manipulate behind the scenes of history—Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville. -Wiki

For a more detailed story summary visit the blog FLY HIGH.

I LOVE this trailer:

Another trailer:

Who else will be watching this?

I’ve read other books by Gregory, (such as The Queen’s Fool, which I didn’t enjoy all that much, though The Other Boleyn Girl was pretty decent) BUT I haven’t read The Cousins’ War series. So, having little knowledge of the plot, I’m watching TWQ with little expectations… As long as there is character depth I’ll watch this drama TO. THE. END. But if its like THE TUDORS, focused on the plotting and back-stabbing, but lacking in character development, I’m dropping it.




Who is the ‘Real’ Mr. Darcy?


Seventy-three years after Laurence Olivier, thirty-three years after David Rintoul, eighteen years after Colin Firth, and eight years after Matthew Macfadyen…. MATTHEW RHYS joins the I-Am-Darcy Club. He’ll be stepping up to play Mr. Darcy in BBC’s three-part series, Death Comes to Pemberley.

Pemberley is based on a bestselling novel of the same name by veteran mystery author P.D. James. Her 2011 whodunit is a sequel to Austen’s most famous work. In Pemberley, Darcy and wife Elizabeth, now wed for six years and the parents of two children, find themselves caught up in a murder investigation after a body turns up on the grounds of Pemberley, Darcy’s ancestral home.

-BBC America

There’s such a long history behind the role of Darcy in TV/film that I can imagine the pressure an actor might feel. Rhys himself said: “Exciting as it is, one of the challenges of a part such as Darcy are the comparisons that will be drawn to those who’ve institutionalised him in the past.”

In my opinion, the four actors (below) are the most memorable Mr. Darcys, memorable in the sense that they either portrayed Mr. Darcy in the BEST or WORST possible way.

Pride and Prejudice



Laurence Olivier played Mr. Darcy as an EFFEMINATE FOP




P&P 1980 mr. darcy david rintoul


David Rintoul turned Mr. Darcy into THE NUTCRACKER (When he speaks, only his jaws move…he has no expression whatsoever. See the clip if you want a good laugh)






Colin Firth played Mr. Darcy as THE BROODER







Matthew Macfadyen played Mr. Darcy as THE HUMAN (shy and vulnerable)



If we were to gather all the Darcy fans into one room and if we had to come to a consensus on who played Mr. Darcy BEST… Oh, the horrors. I remember, in my Jane Austen Seminar, the class got a bit heated when our professor asked us that very question: “Who played Mr. Darcy best?” The room was divided into shouts of Macfayden and Firth.

I was on the Firth-side.

Nevertheless, I have a feeling that I’ll appreciate Rhys as Mr. Darcy in Death Comes to Pemberley. I liked him enough in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012), he’s quite the talented actor.


Motivations to Complete Writing a Novel

Confession: I have given-up more times than I’ve succeeded in completing a novel. For example, I have a file on my laptop titled “ABANDONED STORIES” and throughout my 11 years of writing, this file filled up with 20+ documents. Each 5-10 chapters long.

Then I have a file of completed manuscripts. A total of 3 novels completed… (excluding completed fanfictions). But these 3 manuscripts are unpublishable.

Unlike some other writers who perhaps complete and publish the first book they’ve ever written, it took me MANY TRIES before I finally fell in love with the story about a 19th century ‘fallen woman’ (here’s the excerpt of the older version). It’s a story I completed writing in 1 year and began revising for the next 5 years.

However, I’ve tried writing new novels during those 6 years and FAILED EACH TIME to complete it. SO. I totally know how it feels to write while doubting your ability to even complete a novel.

I therefore decided to share some of the practical tips that kept me from giving up on TRC and my other completed works (other than being in love with the plot and characters). Hopefully what inspires me might inspire others as well!

Things that Motivate Me:

  • I never allow myself to write the ending of the manuscript before I’ve written the rest of the story. BUT I always make sure that when I begin writing a novel, I know how the last chapter will end. The desire to reach that ending compels me like CRAZY….because I imagine that it’ll be the BEST of all chapters.
    The Final Chapter of Swan Lake
  • I write, imagining the day when I can type THE END and print out the entire manuscript.  So, yes, during my difficult writing days the desire to press the ‘PRINT’ button compels me.
    Sending this baby off to New York per an agent’s request. Long story short: It got rejected *sniffles*


  • I write, anticipating the day when I can begin REVISING my completed-manuscript at a coffee shop.


  • Looking at pretty book covers also inspires me to write, imagining that one day my manuscript will have a cover of its own.

8378780The House Girl by Tara Conklin51Z9RCVRPEL

  • As a history graduate, I love researching about the past, and details about the past always inspires me to write.

Dear Readers,
What inspires you to keep writing? What keeps you from giving up?

Music I’m writing to:

Historical Intrigue: Women Cross-Dressers

annakareninastillI’ve always found stories with cross-dressing heroines to be quite compelling. To name three works that revolve around this subject: Sarah Waters’ TIPPING THE VELVET(novel), SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE(film) and Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT(play/film). Then there’s also the endless list of historical romance novels with cross-dressing heroines (click here for the list) among which is Georgette Heyer’s THESE OLD SHADES for those looking for a more witty, Austen-esque quality.

I wonder what it is about cross-dressing heroines that so fascinates us?


Women (usually single and of a poor background) turned to cross-dressing to escape their economic and social disadvantages.

Margaret Hunt has pointed out “that in the early modern period women attempted to pass as men in far larger numbers than was at once thought, often precisely for the purpose of escaping their families, supporting themselves independently at higher-paying and more interesting jobs than ones women usually were able to maintain, gaining skills they would normally not have access to and escaping the pressure to marry.”

Many women cross-dressers believed that by wearing trousers and performing the ‘masculine role’ they could claim the economic/social advantages that men possessed and also escape their domestic confines and ‘powerlessness’.

Diane Dugaw comments that for cross-dressing women, “disguise seemed to go hand in hand with breaking out of custodial confinement whether of parents or husbands. Dressed as men they could travel at liberty without requiring masculine guardianship.”


Dr. Barry

A famous cross-dressing woman was Dr. James Miranda Barry (1799 – 1865). In the account of Dr. Barry, Bridget Hill writes: “At the age of ten [Barry] enrolled as a medical student at Edinburgh University. In 1813 She joined the army and became Colonial medical officer. She went to Cape Town, where she became physician to the governor… She was a great flirt with women she found attractive.”

There are also cases of women who went to war by cross-dressing as soldiers or sailors. In England there is a relatively small number of women who, for their own mixed motives, became soldiers and sailors:

Cases of cross-dressing isn’t only confined to England. In Holland, for instance, there are more than a hundred documented cases of young women who in male disguise set out for the Dutch East Indies to seek their fortune.

Among the many reasons why women turned to cross-dressing, there was nearly always some elements of ESCAPE.

Bridget Hill, “Ways of Escape,” in Women Alone: Spinsters in England 1660-1850. (London: Yale University Press), 126-142



P.S. My LONNNGGGG-neglected Period Drama Rating page has been updated. I decided to review each film/series within (approximately) 150 letters. I’ll be dedicating an entire entry to a period drama only if I think it’s worth it and only if I have the time.

My Writing Music: