Last night we watched the movie adaptation of Henry James' The Wings Of A Dove on DVD thanks to Netflix. It stars one of Donna's favorite actors, Linus Roache, and one of her least favorite, Helena Bonham Carter, who got an Oscar nomination for the role.
I had never seen it before but if you like those other movies from the 1990s about the love lives and money obsession of upper-class British folks - like Sense And Sensibilty and Howard's End - then you'll enjoy it fine.
In an unusual coincidence, yesterday I also read the USA Today story about the new book called Superdove by Courtney Humphries. It's a book all about, no kidding, pigeons. From the article:
"The book's title refers to the fact that the words 'pigeon' and dove' were once used interchangeably....
Dove, she notes, is equated with peace and used as a name for chocolate bars and soap. Pigeon has no marketing appeal. Woody Allen dismissed them as 'rats with wings' in his 1980 movie Stardust Memories.
By way of defending pigeons, Humphries says, "rats are really smart and fascinating animals. These judgments we make about 'pests' are all about context. Pigeons annoy people because they're not easily controlled, and we love to be able to control our environment. It doesn't mean they're inherently bad or unworthy of appreciation."
Let me add an Amen to that, sister! So many of the feelings humans have about animals, from pigs to spiders to chickens and beyond, are rooted in our own ignorance or customs and often have very little to do with the creature itself.
Superdove is a book I won't read but I enjoyed seeing some of the facts about pigeons in the newspaper piece. Here are three:
"Most feral pigeons live only a year or two. Domestic pigeons can live into their teens."
"Pigeons won't fly at night; their night vision is worse than that of humans."
"At its peak during World War II, the U.S. Pigeon Corps had 3,000 enlisted men, 150 officers, and 54,000 pigeons."
If you do happen to read it, let me know where the term pigeonhole came from, won't you?