Burglaries, brollies, beauties, books and beasts

Once again, the Seanchai Library will be presenting a round of stories and readings in Voice this coming week, with the conclusion of two of their serialisations, and further delving into the world of the fairy tale.

As always, all times SLT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Sunday 24th February

13:30 – Tea-time at Baker Street – The Adventure of the Reigate Squire

Watson takes Holmes to a friend’s estate near Reigate in Surrey to rest after a rather strenuous case in France. Holmes finds that his services are needed here, but he also finds that his recent illness serves him well. His host is Colonel Hayter.

There has recently been a burglary at the nearby Acton estate in which the thieves stole a motley assortment of things, even a ball of twine, but nothing terribly valuable. Then one morning, the Colonel’s butler tells news of a murder at another nearby estate, the Cunninghams’. The victim is William Kirwan, the coachman. Inspector Forrester has taken charge of the investigation, and there is one physical clue: a torn piece of paper found in William’s hand with a few words written on it. Holmes takes an instant interest in this, seeing something that Forrester has missed.

Join Caledonia Skytower and Corwyn Allen as they once again delve into The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes!

18:00 Mary Poppins (at Magicland Park)

mary-poppinsMade famous through the hugely successful 1964 Disney film starring Julie Andrews and a wobbly accented Dick van Dyke (albeit an adaptation despised by Travers herself), and more recently the focus of a successful West End and Broadway stage production, the adventures of the famous umbrella piloting nanny need no real introduction here in terms of their story.

First published in 1934, Mary Poppins was actually the first in a series of stories about the character written by Travers between 1934 and 1988, all illustrated by Mary Shephard, the daughter of Winnie the Pooh and The Wind in the Willows illustrator, E.H. Shephard. Mary actually took the job on account of her father being too busy with other work, and later became regarded as a co-author of the tales.

Join Caladonia at Magicland Park as she concludes this magical tale.

Monday 25th February, 19:00 – Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep

sonoraFrom the pen of Gail Carson Levine, who provides spirited updates to familiar folk tales, presents us with a retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

Blessed at birth with being ten times smarter than anyone else, the baby Sonora immediately understands everything happening around her, including both Fairy Belladonna’s wish that Sonora one day prick herself with a spindle and die, and a subsequent wish from another Fairy that, rather than die, Sonora will sleep for one hundred years.

So Sonora hides the offending spindle in her own toy chest, knowing that while she cannot avoid the inevitable, she can at least choose when to prick herself. Thus is launched a tale rich in telling and with all the ingredients of a French farce through which Sonora eventually emerges, still having the last word.

Caledonia Skytower reads from this lively tale.

Tuesday 26th February, 19:00: Inkspell

Faerie Maven-Pralou bring us the conclusion of Cornelia Funke’s young adult which forms the second part of her Inkworld trilogy. The books chronicle the adventures of teenager Meggie Folchart whose life changes dramatically when she realizes that she and her father, a bookbinder named Mo, have the unusual ability to bring characters from books into the real world when reading aloud. Mostly set in Northern Italy and the parallel world of the fictional Inkheart book, the central story arc concerns the magic of books, their characters and creatures, and the art of reading.

In Inkspell, a year has passed since the events related in Inkheart, the first book in the series. Not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of Inkheart, a book that has characters that come to life. Resa is back. The fire-eater, Dustfinger, wants to go back to his wife daughters-who are in the story. When he finds a crazy, self-absorbed psycho storyteller, Orpheus, who can read him back into the book, he goes into the pages. Soon Farid convinces Meggie to read him into the book so he can warn Dustfinger of Basta. But Meggie has figured out how to read herself and Farid into the book Inkheart.

Wednesday 27th February, 19:00: Quite a Year for Plums

plumsAnyone who has read the best-selling Mama Makes Up Her Mind or listened to Bailey White’s commentaries on NPR knows that she is a storyteller of inimitable wit and charm. Now, in her stunningly accomplished first novel, she introduces us to the peculiar yet lovable people who inhabit a small town in south Georgia.

Meet serious, studious Roger, the peanut pathologist and unlikely love object of half the town’s women. Meet Roger’s ex-mother-in-law, Louise, who teams up with an ardent typographer in an attempt to attract outer-space invaders with specific combinations of letters and numbers. And meet Della, the bird artist who captivates Roger with the sensible but enigmatic notes she leaves on things she throws away at the Dumpster.

Kayden Oconnell is joined by Caledonia Skytower as they conclude their reading of the novel.

Thursday 28th February, 19:00: Beauties, Beasts and Enchantments

beautybeastRegarded as the best way to access an English translation of Madame de Villeneuve’s original and entire story of Beauty and the Beast, itself a novella-length story in which the beast is actually precisely that – a beast, Jack Zipes’ gathering-together of fairy tales from the French Salon era is regarded by many as perhaps the definitive English language volume on the subject.

Within its covers, the book has 36 tales, readers can also find the works of Charles Perrault, original author of works such as Le Petit Chaperon rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Cendrillon (Cinderella), Le Chat Botté (Puss in Boots) and La Barbe bleue (Bluebeard). Madame Le Prince de Beaumont’s derivative version of Beauty and the Beast, the version with which most modern audiences are more familiar, can also be found here.

The book is complete with a fascinating introduction by Zipes which examines the French salons and their role in the development of the genre of the fairy tale, and also looks at some of the women who dominated both the salons and the growth of the genre itself. As such, it is a marvellous door through which to explore the topic.

Join Shandon Loring as he delves into the world of tales fantastical, both fair and dark, both familiar and perhaps new.

Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and additions to the week’s schedule.

Note that throughout January and February, all donations to Seanchai Library SL will go to the real-world charity, Doctors Without Borders! Have questions? IM or notecard Caledonia Skytower.

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