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A literary and cultural history of the intimate space of the eighteenth-century closet-and how it fired the imaginations of Pepys, Sterne, Swift, and so many other writers Long before it was a hidden storage space or a metaphor for queer and trans shame, the closet was one of the most charged settings in English architecture. This private room provided seclusion for reading, writing, praying, dressing, and collecting-and for talking in select company. In their closets, kings and duchesses shared secrets with favorites, midwives and apothecaries dispensed remedies, and newly wealthy men and women expanded their social networks. In The Closet, Danielle Bobker presents a literary and cultural history of these sites of extrafamilial intimacy, revealing how, as they proliferated both in buildings and in books, closets also became powerful symbols of the unstable virtual intimacy of the first mass-medium of print. Focused on the connections between status-conscious-and often awkward-interpersonal dynamics and an increasingly inclusive social and media landscape, The Closet examines dozens of historical and fictional encounters taking place in the various iterations of this room: courtly closets, bathing closets, prayer closets, privies, and the "moving closet" of the coach, among many others. In the process, the book conjures the intimate lives of well-known figures such as Samuel Pepys and Laurence Sterne, as well as less familiar ones such as Miss Hobart, a maid of honor at the Restoration court, and Lady Anne Acheson, Swift's patroness. Turning finally to queer theory, The Closet discovers uncanny echoes of the eighteenth-century language of the closet in twenty-first-century coming-out narratives. Featuring more than thirty illustrations, The Closet offers a richly detailed and compelling account of an eighteenth-century setting and symbol of intimacy that continues to resonate today.
Kate Hudson stars in this horror, set in New Orleans. Caroline (Hudson) is a care worker who moves in with terminally ill Ben (John Hurt) to look after him. Suspicious of his emotionally cold wife Violet (Gena Rowlands), and able to sense a strange atmosphere in the house, Caroline gets hold of a skeleton key that allows her access to the house's many locked rooms. In the attic she finds a room decked out with the grotesque remains of a voodoo ritual, although Violet claims not to have known of its existence. As Ben suffered his stroke shortly after discovering the room himself, Caroline is determined to find the secret to the sinister house, and its dark history as a centre of occult worship.
Triple-bill of movie adventures starring Heath Ledger. In 'The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus' (2009) Christopher Plummer stars as Dr Parnassus, leader of the extraordinary Imaginarium: a travelling theatre where members of the audience are given the irresistible opportunity to go beyond reality by means of a magical mirror and explore the limitless realms of their imaginations. Despite his amazing gift for guiding the imaginations of others, however, Parnassus harbours a dark secret: years before he made a pact with the devil in order to buy himself immortality. When the devil appears to collect his payment - Parnassus's beautiful 16-year-old daughter Valentina (Lily Cole) - Parnassus and his troupe, now joined by the mysterious shape-shifting Tony (variously portrayed by Heath Ledger, in his last ever performance, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell), embark on a wild and surreal journey through parallel worlds to save the girl and undo the mistakes of the past. In 'The Brothers Grimm' (2005) Will (Matt Damon) and Jake (Ledger) Grimm dazzle small towns with their imaginative folklore and elaborate illusions, but when the brothers journey into a real enchanted forest to help a village rid itself of an evil witch, they encounter many of the fantastic characters and thrilling situations found in their beloved fairy tales. Finally, in 'The Four Feathers' (2002), Harry Feversham (Ledger), a British officer, resigns his commission on the eve of a battle in the Sudan. He is given four white feathers by his friends and fiancée (Kate Hudson) as a symbol of cowardice. Determined to win back his honour, Feversham exposes himself to hardship while disguised as a Sudanese man in an attempt to aid his comrades.
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