Through the Looking Glass Literary Tag: Faith and Fantasy - Day 2

Thursday, 26 June 2014

I quite cringe at my tardiness in the delay it took me to post this post for the blog-party, dear readers, and keeping you all waiting for the next exciting tag. But, unlike Bilbo Baggins' first 60 years of life, so many unexpected things do happen to me . . . and the past week or so have been crazy busy! But I am doing my best, I assure you, and am having a blast of fun at it at the same time! How about you all? I have been so enjoying all the participation and tag-posts everyone has joined in, and I hope you are all equally having fun with it too. If you are new to this blog-party happenings, it is not too late to join. Check this link here, to learn the party-rules and join in!

Anyway, today, the tag questions are on the topic of "Faith and Fantasy". While some of the questions do touch the matter of faith, I am leaving it more up to the blog-participants to decide to include this theme into their tag, explore how faith affects our take on this genre, and take a more thoughtful view on this really fun, and exciting topic of fantasy stories and movies, which many of us love. This tag requires for the participants to have at least either read/or/watched either The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia, as I bring up those two series's frequently. But have no fear - for those of you not so keen on this genre, keep your eyes on this blog, because throughout the rest of the blog party, I will include tags on the mystery fiction, children's fiction and modern "general" novels as well, and non-fiction works too. So stay tuned!

Meanwhile, for all fantasy-lovers, and LOTR/Hobbit or Narnia fans, I hope you all enjoy this 29-long "Faith and Fantasy" tag and participate on your own blogs. Here is how you can join in and have fun with this party: copy the tag questions and respond to the questions on your own blog, making it all uniquely your own! Then, to add to the life of things, via the linky pool in each tag post, have fun mingling, visiting each other's blogs and getting to know one another better! And don't forget to enter the literary giveaway!!

#Middle-earth Pinterest
1. Taken from a Christian perspective, what are your thoughts and feelings on the fantasy genre in general? Do you hold to any convictions or guidelines on things like magic, sorcery, fantastical elements or allegory in fantasy books?
2. Who are some of your favourite fantasy/fairy-tale authors? (you can name up to three.)
3. Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia books, or watched any of the movies? Which, if so, are your three favourite books?
4. How many books by J.R.R. Tolkien have you read and enjoyed so far? Can you choose a favourite book (The Lord of the Rings can be considered one book ;)?
5. Uhm. . . since, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were friends, I will not risk causing further estrangement to the history of their friendship by pitting them against each other! However, being the mastermind of mischief that I am, I will toss this question your way: which of the two are you most fond of in sense of storytelling, characters, themes and what personally touches/inspires you the most: The Lord of the Rings, or The Chronicles of Narnia?
6. Are there other books and movies of the fantasy/fairy-tale/legend genre that have you read and loved, especially from modern authors? Please tell us a little bit about them.
7. Have you read any Christian allegories, such as Pilgrim's Progress, Holy War or Hinds Feet on High Places? 
8. Share some of your most well-loved heroines from fantasy tales in literature (books, movies, modern and classics), and why you love them so much! What virtues/traits in them would you like to have yourself?
9. Which land would you rather go, dwell in, or be a part of: Middle-Earth, or Narnia? (or maybe some other fantasy-land, you share!)
10. What kind of fantasy are you most fond of? Fantastical and "fairy-tale-ish" like Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella, or rather the mythological, high-epic-fantasies such as Tolkien's?
11. Which is your favourite fairy-tale? 
12. List some of your most well-loved movie adaptions of fantasy tales (this does not include Disney fairy-tale animations). 
13. Who are your favourite heroes from fantasy books? (you may list as many as you like!) Tell us a little bit about why you love them so much :).
14. Saddest moment in any fantasy tale you've either watched or read?
15. How did you get into The Lord of the Rings and Middle-Earth books/movies? (If you're not into LOTR than you can talk about how you got into Narnia instead).
16. Give a list (preferably with pictures!) of your favourite fantasy/medieval costumes/armour/gowns and from which movie/character they come from.
17. Which fantasy/fairy-tale has inspired and influenced you the most?
18. Favourite character in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings/Hobbit universe? Favourite character in The Chronicles of Narnia? (Choose 1 each)
19. Favourite friendship in a fantasy book/movie/series?
20. Which villain of fantasy strikes the most dread and loathing in you? Which foe strikes the most pity?
21. Share some of your most well-loved quotes from fantasy books/movies :). 
22. Favourite battle in a fantasy book or movie?
23. Tell us which romance couple you love best in any of the fantasy stories you know about.
24. Elves or dwarves? Gondor or Rohan? Aragorn or King Tirian?
25. Who is your favourite side-kick (secondary character) in books/movies of this genre? (you are welcome to choose more than one ;). 
26. List five fantasy novels you are especially looking forward and eager to read in the near future.
27. Which fantasy work struck you with the most sense and depth of faith and the author's perception of morality, ethics, the distinction and battle between good and evil, and the Christian walk? Can you share a little bit about it?
28. What was the first fantasy novel you ever read and how did it strike you?
29. What would inspire you to pick up a work of fantasy literature or watch a fantasy film? What do you believe are both the benefits, negatives and overall effects of enjoying this genre?

I will be participating in this tag, Lord willing, hopefully tomorrow! :) Will you join in too?

And now, as a reminder of the grand giveaway! What are the special prizes? How can you all enter? Three fabulous shops are sponsoring beautiful prizes, and at the end of the blog-party, I will be drawing three winners to win the prizes from the three shops. To enter the giveaway, enter in the Rafflecopter below - and remember, every time you join in the week-long tags, you will win extra points in your chances of being a winner of one of these lovely literary products. . . 
No. 1 "Austen Artwork" Prize

*Sense and Sensibility art print. Jane Austen
Handmade art print item.
Dimensions: 5x7 inches
Materials: watercolour paper, watercolours
"This art print depicts Marianne Dashwood, on her fateful walk through the pleasure grounds and shrubberies of Cleveland, as she indulged in sad dreams of Willoughby, who is now lost to her forever. 
The print measures 5x7 inches and is done on archival quality photo paper. It will come to you in a protective plastic sleeve. 
All . . . items come gift wrapped in a brown paper package, sealed with Antique Fashionista wax seal."

*Persuasion 5x7 art print from original watercolour "Waiting"
Handmade art print item
Material: ultra brite matte paper
This is a print of one of my first Jane Austen watercolors titled Waiting inspired by Persuasion, my favorite J.A. work. It depicts Anne looking out at the sea at Lyme and thinking of Captain Wentworth. This listing is for an 5x7 digital print. Not framed. Printed on archival quality matte finish photo paper . Colors may vary slightly due to monitor differences. It will come to you in a protective plastic sleeve. All my pieces come beautifully wrapped in my signature brown paper package, tied with string and sealed with unique Antique Fashionista wax seal.
Please visit my blog at if you are interested to see some of my other pieces and how I paint my watercolors.
* These charming paintings of Jane Austen's characters, handmade by the lovely Masha Laurence, from Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion can work beautifully as charming, feminine bookmarks, or lovely posters to frame and place among one's favourite classics on a bookcase. One winner will win both art prints :)
No 2. "Les Miserables Literary-Necklace" Prize
Tea and Tentacles

*Les Miserables Necklace, Victor Hugo, Musicals, Classic Literature, Books, Library T1161
- "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise"
Handmade item
Materials: antique bronze chain, antique bronze pendant, antique bronze, print, digital art, digital collage, art, pendant, glass, glass dome, dome, 1 inch digital collage, 1 inch circle.
This high quality image is enhanced with a glass dome to add depth and set in a 1" antique finished pendant bezel. Each pendant comes with a matching 24" chain. 
This gorgeous glass pendant with the "Les Miserables" quote from the musical "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise" is not only a beautiful piece of literary artwork for any Les-Miserables fan, but also a lovely inspirational quote from an inspiring tale that can personally inspire you. Casey does some beautiful literary pendants in her shop; this particular pendant can be a beautiful, vintage necklace "statement piece" and also work as an excellent, handy bookmarker to keep you on track as you plow through a 500 page tome by Dickens or Alexandre Dumas! 
No. 3 "Set of Handmade Scripture Gift Tags" Prize
The NestinSLT

Set of "Scripture" Gift Tags - "The Lord will give strength unto His people"
Handmade item
Materials: card stock, ribbon
These handmade tags feature a scripture from the book of Psalms "The Lord will give strength unto his people" ~ such an encouragement for persons of faith. Tags measure approx. 2 1/4/x 3 1/4", are blank on the back for your message, and tied with double lengths of violet seam binding. You will receive a set of 6. Color of ribbon can be changed upon request.
This set of Scripture tags are beautiful - and with such a wonderful, uplifting verse! While wonderful for using in gifts with friends, this set of 6 tags can work wonderfully as a bookmark in a devotional read, or even in your daily Bible reading.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

'Mostly, Prunes and Prism' - Historical Classics, My Answers to Day 1

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

When I showed my sister Sarah my tag questions the other day (who is a history student, nearly done with her BA), she kindly pointed out to me that there might be some small misunderstanding of the definition of "Historical Classics" - do I mean classics that deal with history specifically or rather on a larger scale of all classics? This is, in a sense, a matter of discussion among scholars over the classical novel, depiction of historical times and events - which were contemporary to the authors who wrote them at the time - and the real history. Gracious me, but I never really gave it too much thought - I think I generally meant to include all "realistic" classics, since whether they were "historical novels" at that time or "contemporary" works of social or romantic nature they are all now history of the past. However, this tag has a "historical" bent, so keep your eye on that ;). In the next few days, I shall be covering on the topics of fantasy/fairy-tale and legends, mystery and detective stories, children's books, the modern novel and the art of writing our books now, and about books of faith and such as well. . . these will include the "non-historical" classics, and also more modern works.

 On that note! In matters of weighing what I should like, versus what is convenience itself, I have decided to take this party at a slightly slower pace than I first intended; namely because I hardly believe any of you (or I for sure) can really truly summon up a daily response to tags of a literary nature for the length of a week, so unstintingly. S-o, here is the answer to the first day tag on my "Through the Looking Glass Literary Blog-Birthday Party". If you should like to join in this tag (which I dearly hope you all do!), or see the party-schedule and enter the grand giveaway, click here. 

*be warned! This is a rather long post :)

Historical Classics  
1. Tell us  a little bit about yourself, your tastes, and the little hobbies and things that your readers probably don't know about you!
Oh dear! If only I can tell you "what I imagine of myself it would be ever so much more interesting!" However, as we must stick to facts, here we go - I am one of four crazy sweet sisters in my family, just like the March Girls in Little Women, and have one of the most amazing and wonderful parents in the world. Since I was the youngest member of the family for the first tentative eight years of my life, before my little sister was born, I have grown up possessing many of the traits of a youngest child, (but with a good streak of the middle in me too - you know, the happy piggy in the middle?). I have much in me like Jo, - the melodramatic writer scribbling stories like a mad hatter, a romantic adventuress with dreams of exploration and discovery, socially awkward and clumsy who cares more about her books and stories than the burn on the back of her dress at the ball and who is always looking out for her family and friends and her younger sister especially :). I can be exceptionally shy, though I am a people-person and I am very out-going, and enjoy being at home - so sometimes I like to think that I do share a few things with dear, sweet Beth, besides being a third child in the family . . . but then I can often have a streak of vanity in me like Amy, and tendency to be flighty of temper. Like Amy, there was once upon a time when I had a great faith in my talent with the paint-brush. . .  (ha!). I am very girly and love peach and mint colours and chocolate ice-creams with strawberry-toppings. I am afraid I have little in common with Meg March, either good or bad.

There was a time when I pretty much hated household chores and winced at thought of homemaking - you know, I am your typical daydreamer, head-in-the-clouds sort of girl; but since my older sisters have grown more busy with university studies, I have had to take on more responsibilities in the home, and guess what? I am finding myself really, really having fun with it! I enjoy cross-stitch, preparing supper, washing and drying dishes (a little, sometimes) and organizing things in the house. I am a huge procrastinator, and most of my most depressing moments of life are because of said weakness; Beware! I spend a little too much time pinning dozens of The Lord of the Rings pins on Pinterest, YouTubing favourite period-dramas and black-and-white classic films, reading novels like its nobody's business, scribbling and smudging into my story-notebooks and stalking my friend's posts on, and in my free time play violin and love it very much! I also play the craziest stories with Gracie (my youngest sister) during weekends and while drying dishes, and make my family laugh at my sudden bursts of archaic dramatic sayings. Once, staring at the hugest pile of dishes to be scrubbed in the sink one evening, I clasped my hands together and cried, clutching a dripping towel, "Oh Lord, keep me from despair!"

2. Books! We really do love them. . . but we all have preferences of what kind of books we love best. What is your favourite genre to read from (and to write in, if you happen to be a writer too)? Could you tell us why?

I am a classical girl in more ways than one, and have always found my favourite niche in fiction in the history side of things. However, I am am a great lover of some fantasy stories, and adventure/mystery/ancient legends are among my favourite to read as well. The funny thing is, I have been writing since I was 12, and reading for ever so much longer - but it has only hit me quite recently how much I love writing historical fiction; I find great enjoyment in reading many different genres. . .  but there is a certain charm, for me, in writing stories set in historical periods. I plan on writing and spreading myself into other genres sometime, such as fantasy/legend, mystery and literary fiction, but writing out a "history" story is what I love best, I believe. 

3. Are you fond of classic literature or do you generally find them too "dry" and hard-going for your tastes? Alternately, how much of your reading diet consists of books written by authors of the 21st century? Are you more fond of the old books or the new. . . or maybe a little bit of both?

There was a time when I did find some of the classics a bit dry and hard-going, but the more I have read of them, the more I have acquired a taste and true appreciation for them, and even found myself liking less the more fast-pace, easy modern fiction the more as I kept comparing them with older works of the past. I have often described my love of the classics this way to my dad, - reading the classics may be a more arduous journey to go through, less entertaining or riveting in the process; however, when you have gone through the book and soaked in the writing and prose and story, you find yourself left with a rich mine of thought to plow through; I remember characters and scenes from the books I read so vividly and mull over it for days, pondering their meanings and thoughts, and often come away with a richer understanding of the world, people and my own life (and sometimes my faith). The stories are memorable and rich, even if at times the telling of it seems mighty-long-winded. Fiction written in the twenty-first century, on the other hand, nine-times-out-of-ten will swing me up in their crazy-fast pace, with one snappy scene after another floating by like flashes from a film, and it is done. It's entertaining while it lasted, but once it is done, I find myself really struggling to remember the characters or the story or what it was really all about. . . I hardly remember what I read. So while most of the modern novels I read feel like cotton-candy and fast-foods, going back to the classics is like eating a rich, proper, home-made dinner. Yes, not everything will be digestible but it is on the whole, much more nutritious and edifying.

On the other side of the spectrum, I do believe in the importance of keeping up with novels being released in the 21st century, and appreciating the clarity and captivating pace of modern writing. Also, there are some really nice novels out there that are worth reading, especially among my writing friends ;)! My general reading diet, therefore, is 3/4 "older" books, or classics, (anytime within the 20th century or before), and 1/3 books written by contemporary authors.
4. What is your favourite historical time period and setting? How did you come to be especially interested in it? Would you be happy to live in that time-period or era? 
My favourite historical time period and setting is the first century A.D. in Ancient Rome (and Israel, Greece, and Europe). At least, I know I was quite obsessed with that ere (and still am, to a degree) some years back. It started when I was 12, and read "The Robe" by Lloyd C. Douglas for the first time (it was my first introduction to more "classic" adult fiction and to a historical novel set in Ancient Rome). I was captivated!! Hook, line and sinker, I found the world of Ancient Rome and the politics, culture, and whole era so fascinating; it was the era where all the events of the New Testament happened, where the Church started and spread. The political history of the emperors, generals, tribunes, dagger-ridden plots and the workings of the Senate are so full of intrigue to capture one's imagination, packed with drama, warfare and romance for this period in history. It started me on my novel "The Crown of Life", a historical fiction about the early Church during the Roman Empire, and I still have a "romanticized" love for it, though in a way I have moved on to love different eras as well.

Some of my other favourite periods would be medieval/ancient Europe, early modern Europe during the Tudor period, and the time of the Puritans during the 1600s. There are things I love about the Regency period, but I generally lean towards the Victorian/Edwarden era more for my favourite "modern" time-period. Oh, and I love the War-Years from the 1930s down to the 1950s. In fact, I wouldn't mind living in that time very much at all.
5.. List three of your favourite classic "historical" authors (authors from the 1500s and up to the very 1900s such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, etc. . . )? What makes you love them so much?
I will cheat and give you four. . . (I have more, but I will confine myself with these.)
-Elizabeth Gaskall (Because she wrote some of my favourite classics, her style of prose is very readable and captivating and she really knows how to move you with stirring plots and lovable characters. She is a little bit of Austen and Dickens rolled into one). 
-Charlotte Bronte (I only read one of Charlotte Bronte's novels, Jane Eyre, recently, but it was one of the most moving classics I've ever read; very powerful and captivating!)
-Rosemary Sutcliff (ahem, *cough, cough* does she qualify as a classic author? I don't know. . . she lived during the 1900s, and she is one of the best historical novelist I've ever read, so she simply has to be in the list. The Shining Company is my current favourite).
-Charles Dickens (While he is not exactly my most favourite author, I really do enjoy reading some of his novels, and his stories/characters always captivate me, with the way he weaves countless plots and a huge cast and draws them together so wonderfully, tying the nots with such drama!.)
The list can go on, - I have only read Kidnapped for Robert Louis Stevenson, but I loved the history and adventure of that book immensely, Louisa May Alcott is another sweet, favourite author and I am quite fond of her writings about the Four March girls; I am not really a fan of Jane Austen, but she has a lot of charm as well and I am beginning to enjoy some of her works.
6. What type of "Historical classic" is your favourite: Adventure and exploration, romance, mystery, social, memoir, or political?
Oh dear, what did I mean by this question? I am very fond of mystery with a deal of swashbuckling adventure and a touch of clean romance, such as to be found in The Scarlet Pimpernel for a good example :). I also like stories that have a "a Dickens-style" social look at history/culture, and I  can really enjoy the "memoir" tale about a character's life journey and struggles as well. Political novels, when not too bogged down in details sometimes are equally fascinating - my novel "The Crown of Life" has a good deal of Ancient Roman politics weaved into it ;).
7. Share some of your most well-loved heroines from historical novels in literature, and why you love them so much! What virtues/traits in them would you like to attain yourself? 
Jane Eyre from the 2006 BBC tv miniseries
with Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson
Jane Eyre - I love her faith, her virtue and chastity and her uprightness of character, to always do what was right even if it caused her pain and suffering. . . but also she has a very merciful heart, and I think one of the things that  I really loved about Jane is that, though she did no wrong herself, she has compassion on those who faltered, and has the courage to believe in a person's worth no matter the ugliness of the outward shell. In a way, I think she has a "Belle" character such as to be found in Beauty and the Beast. . . 
Margaret Hale in North and South 2004 BBC tv miniseries
Margaret Hale - Margaret, from Gaskall's North and South is probably my favourite of classic heroines because I find her very relatable in her journey and struggles. She is not perfect, - she is flawed, has a strong-willed prejudice and makes mistakes. . . but she loves her family deeply and is very devoted to her parents in their sufferings. She has a merciful heart, willing to serve and stand alongside the poor and needy and defend their rights and has a sensitive conscience. Through her trials, her faith grows and she learns both meekness and wisdom and a beautiful sweetness of character which I love very much.
Molly Gibson from Wives and Daughters
Molly Gibson - I really love Molly from Wives and Daughters. I love it when girls are deeply devoted to their fathers, and respect them, and that is just what she does. She has a very sweet, loving character and always thinks of others and puts them before her own interests, even when it must have been very hard; even when people are horrid, she just keeps on loving. She is definitely a favourite heroine!
Amy Dorrit from Little Dorrit tv miniseries by BBC
Amy Dorrit - much like Molly, Amy's character is so sweet, compassionate and tender; she cares so much for her father and friends, stays with her father in his shame of the debtor's prison, and always remembers, even later on, to love and feel for those who are needy and stricken, to comfort them and hold their hands. While the rest of her family changes with the turns of their fortune, she remains steadfast, patiently faithful and humble. She is a lovely model of femininity too.
Pollyanna and her aunt in Masterpiece theatre's Pollyanna adaption 
Pollyanna - Pollyanna is my favourite "child-heroine", because she is always glad, always giving thanks in all circumstances and being a joy to others - even when she has lost and suffered so much. She is not flawless, - she herself struggles and despairs, but in the end, her optimism and faith in others, and her decision to be "continually glad from morning to night" shines through and makes her a very special character in classic fiction!
Peggy Bell from Return to Cranford
Peggy Bell - she's another favourite. I remember really loving her very much from the BBC miniseries "Return to Cranford" based on Gaskall's novellas, though I am afraid I can't remember much of the story or her character. But she was very sweet and brave, and sacrificial, and showed great love for Mr. Buxton, so that was really sweet :).

(I have not mentioned any heroines from Jane Austen's works, since I have only read Pride and Prejudice and Emma, and have watched but a few of the adaptions of her novels: an old Persuasion, the 2007 Mansfield Park, Emma--two versions which I liked very much-- and the 1995 Pride and Prejudice; my favourite heroines are Anne Elliot for her understanding, undying love and patience, and probably Emma as she's a lot of fun and has a big-heart with a great deal of personality, wit and charm. I am told Fanny Price and Elinor Dashwood are really lovely characters, but I am rather unfamiliar of them still.)
Emma from Emma 2009 BBC miniseries 

8. Who are your favourite heroes from historical literature? (You may share up to five). What makes them stand out among the rest as special?
Mr. Knightley
-Mr. George Knightley - Mr. Knightley is one of my favourite "fictional" heroes in literature actually. Out of all Austen's characters, I think he is one of the most gentlemanly, kind and wise-hearted; he loves Emma deeply, is a wonderful friend and encourager to her, but his love for her includes a concern not only for her physical welfare, but for her spiritual and moral as well; where he sees wrong, he is not afraid to rebuke, "for faithful are the rebukes of a friend" as the Bible says. His character displays something of a true Christian spirit.
-Mr. John ThorntonI love deep, complex characters, and Mr. John Thornton is a favourite for
Mr. Thornton
me :) - he suffered much hardship growing up, and learnt responsibility and hard-work from a young age; his diligence and years of toil to support his widowed mother and flighty sister and maintain a respectable establishment made me like him a lot; I did 
not like his temper, or his harshness with his workers, but his journey of changing and growing and learning to show mercy and compassion to the poor and needy made me really happy; I also love how gentlemanly he was to Margaret; he always treated her with respect, loyalty and kindness, and did all he could to persevere her honour, despite all the obstacles. And also, he was very kind and polite to her mother, and a close friend to her father <3!
=Sir Percy Blakney - oh, you know why I like The Scarlet Pimpernel, don't you?  I love Sir Percy Blakney because he shows mercy to those in need and suffering, and bravely rescues them from Madame La Guillotine, putting his life constantly in danger for the sake of others. I love his sense of duty, honour and chivalry, and faithfulness to his wife. . . Besides, his charming wit, and comical, foppish sense of fashion is absolutely priceless!
The Scarlet Pimpernel!

Jean Valjean - I remembered him at the last minute, but Jean Valjean, from Les Miserables, is a wonderful hero, - the redeemed convict who lives his life from his conversion in the service of his Master, and showing mercy and love to all, like Fantine and her daughter. . . his forgiveness of Javert is so moving, and so is his love and devotion to Cosette and Marius.
Jean Valjean
William Buxton - I love what Mr. Buxton, from Return to Cranford, does to secure Peggy's hand in marriage, willing to work and toil day and night so as to provide for a home and support for her, and what he sacrifices for her sake - a great example of a noble bridegroom "preparing his house for his bride" :).
William Buxton
Arthur Clennam and Amy :)
Mr. Arthur Clennam -  hardworking and loyal, Dickens' Arthur Clennam is a wonderful character, and I really like how he has such a caring, giving heart. . . always giving of himself and helping others, and unambitious about his life - he has a deep desire to do what is right :).

Lt. Horatio Hornblower (as portrayed in the tv series) -  'cause he is really brave and a wonderful example of a good leader and captain. :)

Horatio Hornblower
All of these characters some how incorporate elements of true gentlemen of the past who're hard-working and diligent in their profession, loving and faithful to their family, loved ones and wives, are courteous and respect their elders, and show true courage, sacrifice and heroism in one way or another  - they are not by any means perfect or flawless; but men who grow through their struggles and mistakes and become greater and wiser persons through experiences, failures, successes, trials and faith.
9.  List your favourite "classic" novels. . . (as this is a painful question, you may list more than one!)
Well, I have a few favourite classic stories which I have only watched the movie adaptions for, and not yet read the actual novels, - such as Persuasion, Mansfield Park, Wives and Daughters, Cranford, Little Dorrit, Hornblower series, David Copperfield, Les Miserables, and such, all of which I quite enjoyed and are among my 'favourites'. But here are my favourite historical classic books which I have read, but in no particular order:

A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
North and South - Elizabeth Gaskall 
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
The Shining Company - Rosemary Sutcliff
The Silver Branch - Rosemary Sutcliff
Ben Hur - Lew Wallace
The Robe - Lloyd C. Douglas
Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson
Pollyanna - Eleanor H. Porter
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
The Bronze Bow - Elizabeth George Speare
The Shield Ring - Rosemary Sutcliff
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Emma - Jane Austen* (I enjoyed the movie adaptions far more than the actual book)

10. Which period-drama movies, (adaptions from historical classic works of fiction), fall under your favourite pile? Do you prefer the more modern adaptions or the old ones? Faithful renditions, or the more exciting ones?
Period-drama movies are some of my favourite kind of movies to watch! so as long as everything is proper and clean and not downright cheesy-movie-making, I enjoy it a great deal. I generally like it when a movie adaption is faithful to a book that I think is just about excellent, however there have been times when movie adaptations have excelled the original book in sense of cohesive plot, storyline and character-building. So, while I love faithful renditions, I am most picky about them being faithful to the spirit of the book, and not the letter of it ;). I like well-done movies, though - and generally the more modern BBC adaptions are simply superb examples of amazing movie-making. BBC classic movies are so good! There are some special ones that are "older" and more faithful, but most of my favourites are the more modern ones. 
Here is a list:

-Hornblower tv mini series

-North and South 2004

-Cranford and Return to Cranford

-Emma 2009

-Emma (with Gwynith )

-Little Women 1978 tv adaption

-Wives and Daughters

-Little Dorrit

-A Tale of Two Cities 1980s with Chris Sarandon

-Les Miserables 2012 movie-musical

- The Scarlet Pimpernel 1980s 

-Jane Eyre 2006

-Amazing Grace


11. Which historical classic has inspired and influenced you the most?
I think. . . I think it must be Jane Eyre, followed closely by North and South and Les Miserables musical.
12. Give a list (preferably with pictures!) of your favourite period drama costumes (hats, hoops, gloves, parasols, etc) and from which movie/character they come from.
It is quite late, so I might keep this to a specific post sometime =). I am very fond of Emma's costumes in the 2009 movie adaptions though, and both Amy Dorrit's in the first few episodes and Molly Gibson's in Wives and Daughters . . . I also love some of Margaret Hale's dresses.
Amy Dorrit
Molly Gibson
Margaret Hale
Emma Woodehouse
13. How accurate do you think classic authors were about depicting history and accuracy of different cultures? Were they sometimes prejudiced or melodramatic in their descriptions, or do you think they often had a point to make?  
I think to a great degree they were accurate in their depiction of history - most definitely of their times, especially in the 1800s - sometimes they satirized their era  to bring across a social point and that is fine by me. I have noticed that novels written by authors of the early 1900s sometimes threw historical accuracy to the wind for the sake of drama which bothers me sometimes, but generally  they are a lot of fun. 
14. Think of the funniest "scene" in either a book or movie from classic literature, and share the quote/picture below (Gifs and animations allowed!)
Hmm. Pride and Prejudice has some very funny moments with Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Emma too can often cause you to smile real hard with the wit and charm between her and Mr. Knightley. . . 
But right now I am thinking of one of the funniest scenes in Cranford where two old ladies of the town work on staining a beautiful white lace collar in butter milk to preserve it, and while they jabber away, the cat swallows the milk in the saucer along with the piece of lace, and chokes; thus proceeds a very funny incident where Miss Pole and her friend cross the village in a state of intense excitement, to reach a neighbor who has a compound that will help the offending cat throw-up the lace, when they come upon the new doctor, Dr. Harrison who asks if there is any trouble or need of his services. Miss Pole, with hand on hat, and with her old widow friend clutching a basket close to her chest, cries out:
"Out of the way! We are in the throes of an exceptional emergency! This is no occassion for sport, Doctor - there is lace at stake!" 
15. Which villain of historical literature strikes the most dread and loathing in you?
Uhm, any Dickens villain, really . . . Madame Defarge, Rigaud, or Mr. Murdstone. *shudders and hides in a corner*
16.  How many Charles Dickens novels have you read? Do you enthusiastically love his stories, or sob in misery over them, or worse get bored by them?
I recall my friend, Annie Hawthorne asking me this question last year and I really failed to respond to it yet. Well, so far I have only read A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, and I am currently reading Little Dorrit for the first time. I have however, watched Little Dorrit and a movie adaption of David Copperfield, so I am pretty familiar with those stories. My emotions of Dickens are a mixture of awe at the way he weaves his stories together and ties them up so neatly, the fascinating depth of perception he has of society and moral dilemmas, his singular cast of many characters and his amazing, intercit plots. Another thing I like about Dickens is the way he presents morality, and how the wicked reap the reward of their iniquity, and the "pit which they dig for others they fall into" very powerfully; his heroes and heroines are very lovable, in general, and his villains are detestable
What I don't like about Dickens is how morbid, depressing and gloomy and downright tragic many of his stories turn out to be. Also, there are often quite disturbing characters and themes. . . but I still enjoy reading his books and watching movie adaptions for them, and definitely look forward to reading more of his works in the future.
17. Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, or Elizabeth Gaskall?
Elizabeth Gaskall
I think it would be Elizabeth Gaskall, followed closely by Charlotte Bronte.
18. Favourite French Revolution novel?
Hm. I think it is A Tale of Two Cities - the story of redemption and sacrifice in this story is so beautiful, sad and moving! Also, I love how balanced and unbiased Dickens is in his perspective of the French Revolution; he depicts the excesses of the aristocratic rich clearly, and the sufferings of the poor, but equally the debauchery, vengeful blood-thirstiness and cruelty of the Revolutionists, and the innocence of many of those sent to the Guillotine.  But I have equally enjoyed (and sobbed my way) watching Les Miserables 2012 movie-musical adaption - it has such beautiful themes of grace and salvation and hope in such a tragic era, as well as the 1980s adaption of The Scarlet Pimpernel with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour :). 
19. North and South or Pride and Prejudice? Mr. Darcy or Mr. Thornton? 
North and South, and Mr. Thornton, definitely! 
20. Which historical classic struck you with the most sense and depth of faith and the author's perception of morality, ethics and the Christian walk? Can you share a little bit about it?
Like some of my friends mentioned, I would probably say Jane Eyre. . . it is amazing how much spiritual depth Bronte allowed to reflect itself within the pages of this book; it had a way of really stirring me, but also touching me with a deep sense of the meaning of trusting God, and following the path of life and faith. 'Tis an amazing book! Equally, I have loved the book (and movie) of North and South, because of the amount of spiritual content in the book - it has such a beautiful element of including the equation of prayer and faith and our consciences before God; Margaret is a woman of faith, and I loved reading that, and her journey and struggles and growth. But then there is also Les Miserables musical, with the line "To love another person is to see the face of God", and that is so full of biblical truth and grace, and. . . well, I love it very much!
21. Who is your favourite side-kick (secondary character) in literature of this genre? 
Mr. Carter from Cranford. . . 
And yes, I simply cannot forgive Gaskall for doing what she did to him. IT JUST WASN'T FAIR!! *sobs*.
22. List five "Historical Classics" you are especially looking forward and eager to read in the near future.
Well, I am reading Little Dorrit right now, but besides this one:
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Persuasion - Jane Austen
Cranford and Other Stories - Elizabeth Gaskall
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczy
23. What was the first historical classic novel you ever read and how did it strike you?
The first historical classic I read, strictly speaking, was The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas, at the age of 11 or 12. . . and I was blown away, captivated and "in love" - it isn't my favourite novel any more, but I was pretty much obsessed with it for a number of years after I read it; it really opened a whole new world to me in the realm of classic novels, historical fiction and Ancient Roman biblical sages :). Soon afterwards this was followed by other classics such as Ben Hur, A Tale of Two Cities, Pollyanna, and Sherlock Holmes.
24. What would inspire you to pick up a historical piece of literature - namely a "classic"? Do you believe it is important for our generation to get back to reading the classics? What do you believe are both the benefits, negatives and overall effects of treasuring historical stories written by authors of the past?
Coming at the tail end of the conversation, I would probably simply like to echo the thoughts of mostly everyone else. . . :). A work written long ago and defined as a classic does not immune itself from criticism, major flaws, heresies, and immorality/violence. Not at all! However, I do believe classics have much to offer us both for education, entertainment and inspiration, and more so because they are the works written by authors of the past showing a certain "endurance" and testing that has kept them known, loved and studied even until now. It has "stood the test of time" as they say :). Also, classic works of literature are from a past that had a far more Christian heritage and culture and a past where Christian virtues and morals where, to a great extent, applauded and looked up to. People educated themselves so much more back then, gave more thought and purpose to their putting their pen to the plow, and held a far greater grasp of language and even the understanding of the human character than most of us do now. . . 

I don't know how to put it into words and it probably sounds strange, but I really find so much more enjoyment in reading books written by authors of the past two hundred years or so than in any other fictional stories. Sometimes, classics can be very meaty and verbose, and harder to get into than the modern novel. . . but the stories within, the characters, themes and the heart of the tales are, if one learns to gain a taste and interest in them, can very often be special, entertaining and even uplifting to one's life.

And if you've read to the end of this post, hurrah for you! Check back tomorrow for the new tag "Faith and Fantasy" :)