Here’s looking at Flickr – more than 3 million views

To celebrate cracking the 3 million views mark on our Flickr photostream, here are some photos to capture your imagination.

Our most interesting image, as Flickr sees it:

Hospital corner, winter morning 1960s
Hospital corner, winter morning 1960s 1959-1960s This scene was photographed by my father and features a PA Vauxhall Velox with bicycle protruding from the boot. Flickr: HW08-D-013-Hospital_Cnr Heritage Week 2008 Competition Entry Highly commended – 1960s category

Some more in the “interesting” section:

Storytime at the Library
Storytime at the Library Storytime at the children’s section of the Canterbury Public Library still has lots of appeal with city youngsters during the school holidays. Here Margaret McPherson (Children’s Librarian) reads to a group Apeared in the Christchurch Star Home edition 13 May 1968 page3 Flickr: CCL-Star-525
A Standard Vanguard Phase III shown being assembled
A Standard Vanguard Phase III shown being assembled At the assembly plant of Motor Assemblies South Island Ltd in Tuam Street, between Barbadoes and Madras Streets, Christchurch circa 1960 Flickr: Reference: CCL-KPCD-11-048 From the Canterbury Progress League Archives, Christchurch City Libraries Archive 72

Our most viewed image:

Flooded Avon River on Oxford Terrace
Flooded Avon River on Oxford Terrace Wednesday 5 March 2014. Flickr: 2014-03-05-IMG_2335

And a few more that have clocked up many looks:

Harewood Airport
Harewood Airport 1954 Staff from No. 4 Hanger. Name of aircraft “PEHO” (D.C 3). This plane was built 20 March 1945 as a freighter for the RNZAF for use as a paratrooper.  Flickr: HWC08-UR-030a Heritage Week 2008 Competition Entry
Bibliographic Services
Bibliographic Services November 1993 Flickr: CCL-150-403

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Ugly Sisters?

Cover: Mansfield ParkWhy do some characters in novels become favourites while others are largely ignored, overshadowed by the more likeable creations who immediately spring to mind when their authors’ names are mentioned?

In The Guardian recently several writers named some of the female characters they feel are not so well-loved as they might be and it’s an interesting list. Everyone loves Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, but for John Mullan Fanny Price from Mansfield Park is a more ‘audacious’ creation.

The choice of Brontë heroine can be very revealing but it’s generally between Jane Eyre and Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights. Personally I’m  Team Catherine despite her being “too mischievous and wayward for a favourite”. Or perhaps because of it.  Tessa Hadley finds Lucy Snowe from Villette “a fascinating mixture of abjection with appetite”.  I find her unbearably sad but the story must have something because that great writer Alan Hollinghurst thought she was interesting enough to retell it in The Folding Star.

cover: Tess of the D'UrbervillesFavourite Thomas Hardy heroines might be based on who played them in the movie version. Perhaps that’s  just me – trivial enough for anything. Fond but very distant memories of Julie Christie as Bathsheba Everdene in Far From the Madding Crowd battle with Natassja Kinski’s beautiful and pitiful Tess Durbeyfield in Tess of the D’Urbervilles.  It’s got to be Tess – spurned by that pill Angel Clare even if he did try to make it up later on.  Margaret Drabble must be unswayed by Kate Winslet’s portrayal of Sue Bridehead from Jude the Obscure because Drabble was captivated by “one of the great characters of the 19th-century novel” at the age of 17, when she first read the book.

I haven’t read all of Proust (after Ulysses? Perhaps. Perhaps not). Nor have I seen the film adaptation of A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. So I cannot comment on Philip Hensher‘s opinion of Madame Verdun from that 3000 page masterpiece. I do like the sound of her though; according to Hensher “she’s shockingly vulgar and loves a good gossip”. My kind of gal.

Book cover of Little WomenKathryn Hughes picked Margaret Hale from North and South and I am in full agreement. Cranford is all very well and Miss Matty is endearing but Margaret is worthy of real admiration. Useless parents, uprooted from a nice life at a whim, forced to minister to the poor of a large Victorian industrial city – she copes with it all with strength and grace.

Most controversial of all might be Lucy Mangan‘s choice of Meg Marsh from Little Women. Not Jo. Or even Beth. I’m not sure if Amy was anyone else’s favourite but she was mine – keen on clothes and pickled limes. But Meg – mother of Demi-John and others I can’t remember the names of, failure at jam making, sensible and more than a bit boring.

Do you have a favourite literary character who has missed out on the adulation they deserve?