Literary Rings

Wednesday, 23 November 2011











Lately, I've been doing something a bit silly, but fun. I've been adorning literary ladies with rings. I blame this on two things: my book, and my fascination with hands. Sometimes, I think my brain revolts against thinking so hard all the time. To stop myself from going into meltdown when editing my book, I often close my eyes from my computer screen, and allow myself to creatively imagine the characters I write about. One of the things I like to do is imagine what their hands would be like. Are they small, are they big, are they expressive, what are they decorated with? This helps me flesh out their characters, and I guess I do this in real life too when I meet people for the first time.

So here's my totally self-indulgent list of rings I imagine would grace the hands of a few literary heroines. Or, we could just call this the "rings I would buy if I had money" list.

Images, from top to bottom:

: : Tatyana Larina from Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin//Opaque Diamond 'Cushion' Ring by RUST:
There's an icy purity to this ring that I associate with Tatyana. I've always imagined something exceptionally pure and snow-like on her fingers.

: : Anne Elliot from Jane Austen's Persuasion//Gold and Opal Ring by Orit Naar Design:
For Anne, the only fitting ring would be one filled with longing and the sea. Opals represent to me this tone of turbulent, but silent, longing.

: : Cassandra Mortmain from Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle//Polly Wales Medium Band - Multi Color Sapphires, Yellow Gold Ring from Catbird:
I immediately thought of Cassandra when I saw this ring. I thought of those passages describing her sun-baking underneath the sun, and imagined what the colours beneath her closed eyes and golden heat would have looked like were they captured in ring form.

: : Angel Deverell from Elizabeth Taylor's Angel//Elisa Solomon Ancienne Diamond Ring from Catbird:
Angel Deverell would only have the sparkly best, and this unbelievably gorgeous ring seems to capture her desire for indulgence, luxury and perfect beauty.

: : Katharine Clifton from Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient//Opaque Diamond 'Tear Drop' Ring by RUST:
I picture the desert and fine grains of sand inside this ring. It makes me think of Katherine, and the lines of her body, so well-loved by Almásy.

: : Catherine Earnshaw/Linton from Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights//Conroy & Wilcox Moon Ring from Catbird:
If Catherine's fingers were decorated with any rings, I'd imagine them being unconventional rings, with an elemental tone to them, sort of like this moon ring.

: : Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice//Hexagon Ring with Champagne Diamond by Satomi Kawakita:
I thought of Lizzie's "fine eyes" when I saw this ring. This beautiful ring seems to have the same warmth and sensitivity that defines Lizzie's character.

: : Jane Eyre from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre//The Tiniest Pearl Ring by Satomi Kawakita:
Jane, who describes herself as "poor, obscure, plain, and little", would never have anything showy on her fingers. This teeny tiny pearl ring is a perfect accompaniment for her small fingers, and the lustre of the pearl reminds me of Jane's enormous dignity, contained within a small frame.

: : Ada Monroe from Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain//Black Diamond Ring by Satomi Kawakita:
Ada's fingers seem to require something dark, something laced with grief and shadows. This black diamond ring seems to be forged out of tears, like little droplets of sorrow bound together.

: : Cecilia Tallis from Ian McEwan's Atonement//Bar Ring by Satomi Kawakita:
I always think of Cecilia when I look at this delicate ring. The upright bar, filled with flawless diamonds, reminds me of Cecilia's figure, waiting for Robbie. I think of all the words they could not say to each other being captured within this bar.

Image credits: All ring images are individually linked and credited above. All the other images are my own screen-grabs from film and television adaptations of the novels.


rooth said...

The brown diamond is beautiful. I love this entire post

Mika @ Blue and the Girl said...

I love this post Hila! I'm a 'ring person' - one of my rings has not left it's finger for 15 years... (not a wedding band) - I love it so!
I think your description of Ada Monroe's ring is beautiful - and so right! You must have had so much fun with this... I'd love you to do one for film heroines.... I'd love to see Ada's from The Piano!
And yours - what ring do you imagine for yourself?

Daughter Earth said...

lovely ring selections and pairings. i kind of want every ring. especially the top 3.

Petra said...

great idea. I am all for some distraction at times. by the way, I loved your last film review and had something really smart to say about it, but somehow I couldn't leave comments, and of course now I've forgotten the really smart things I wanted to say... but thank you nevertheless.

BK said...

Cathy from Wuthering Heights, Elizabeth Bennet's and Jane Eyre's are just perfect! So well matched to their personalities.

I think Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is brilliant. More than once, Oskar Schell has made me want to cry. Or should I say Jonathan Safran Foer has done that? I'd love to know your thoughts on the novel. I'm assuming you like it if you're re-reading it.

Danielle P. said...

I love the idea of imagining a character's hands and what decorates them. These are such interesting pairings!

Anonymous said...

I don't usually enjoy posts like these - matching literature or film to jewellery or clothes. That said, I enjoyed this particularly post immensely. I can see why you chose these rings for each character. Wonderful post!

Hotly Spiced said...

The images are beautiful. I'm visually obsessed with hands and always looking at people's hands. I think it's been since I first saw that Seinfeld episode where he doesn't want to go out with the gorgeous girl because she has 'man hands'. Ever since then I've been on the lookout!

Good luck with the editing process.

Eliza said...

This is a perfect post; the idea is wonderful, and I can only say that I fully agree with you on every choice, they all fit incredibly well. Your descriptions are delicious to read.

Eliza said...

(I must also add I love Cassandra's ring, love love love.)

Caitlin Rose said...

oh Hila! I looove this post! Since I love clothing so much I often buy clothing based on the heroines I love. Every time I buy something that's grey chambray I think I'm in a Jane Eyre mood.

elliottwithlove said...

What a fun concept, Hila! I really enjoyed this post. I think you matched up the heroines and rings perfectly.

elliottwithlove said...

What a fun concept, Hila! I really enjoyed this post. I think you matched up the heroines and rings perfectly.

yelena bryksenkova said...

how creative! i think i love the satomi kawakita ring that you chose for elizabeth bennett the best; it's very charming at first glance, and once you look deeper into the middle, its special and magnetic qualities become apparent, too...


Kristina said...

those rings are all breathtakingly beautiful!!!! I want to have them all :) and how you matched them with the movies / characters is a great idea!!

milkofthepoppy said...

beautiful way of thinking!! i love all those characters and i absolutely agree with your pairings! You made me think of the heroines in another way...helping me picture them and feel them more real!

naomemandeflores said...

Hila, your posts always make me want to drop everything and go read a book or watch a movie. Thank you for that! Beautiful rings and beautiful references.

Camila Faria

MissJW said...

i loved this post. so beautiful.

Ella said...

hila, this is a splendid idea! the rings really do look like they "would grace the hands" of these lovely ladies :)

hungryandfrozen said...

So stunning. Especially love the second and third. An awesome mental break, for sure!

fifth floor apartment said...

um, YES. this post is outstanding. lovelovelove :)

xo Alison

CloudyKim said...

Woah, these match ups are gorgeous. You have quite an eye for these things! From the literary ladies I'm familiar with, the rings seemed like perfect choices. Really. They made total sense, even before I scrolled down to read your descriptions.

Olga said...

You always astound me with the level of your creativity. What a stunning idea, and very unusual associations.

Tana said...

All the rings match perfectly the characters,sophisticated, with grain of charm. Love this your idea. more posts like this :)

jodeska said...

Perfectly matched if I do say so myself. You words are gorgeous.

Niina said...

I love this post because it´s so light and whimsical. Perfect reading for a boring moment here. Although I am not that into rings I totally understand what´s interesting in hands.

andrea despot said...

This is so perfect! So many of my favorite films and favorite characters. I love these rings and pairings so much! Though at first I thought the first one was supposed to be Liv Tyler as Lucy Harmon from Bernardo Bertolucci's "Stealing Beauty." It's one of my absolute favorite films (as are most of these) so I'll just pretend that it's supposed to represent that film instead :)

odessa said...

i'm not into rings or jewelry in general and i've only started wearing earrings last year...BUT i love, love the ring that you picked for Jane Eyre. its perfect.

i think Katharine's ring fits her so well too, all passionate and yet restrained at the same time.

love this post! :)

Laure said...

Je suis amoureuse de ton blog.
Article vraiment originale c:

Bonne continuation

hila said...

first off, thanks everyone! and I wanted to say thanks too to those of you who sent me an email requesting that I do a series of rings for film heroines as well. I promise to do it in the near future.

rooth: that's my favourite ring, although I'll never be able to afford it.

mika: I will mika, I'll get to film heroines soon. I hardly wear rings, but if I did, it would be a small and delicate one. I have very thin and small fingers, big rings tend to be clunky on me.

daughter earth: I pretty much want all the rings too.

petra: oh that's strange, I'm sorry you weren't able to leave a comment. Never mind, I think you're smart regardless :)

bk: yes, I loved it. I'll have to review it soon. But it seems to defy description in many ways.

danielle: thanks! I felt a bit silly posting this, but it seems to resonate with people.

anonymous: thank you! I don't normally do posts like these because I'm just not good at it. I leave the stylish pairings to the professionals :)

hotly spiced: haha, everything is explained by seinfeld.

eliza: thank you dear eliza :)

caitlin rose: that's so sweet. I have to admit that my love of pencil skirts does stem from sylvia plath.

elliottwithlove: thank you!

yelena: I totally agree, it's my dream ring. And I can also only dream about owning it :)

Kristina, milkofthepoppy, miss jw, ella, hungryandfrozen and alison: thanks so much, glad you like it.

camila: ha, okay then, go read a book :)

cloudykim: glad you think so, I wondered if the pairings only made sense in my head.

olga: thank you olga, that's so kind.

tana: I promise, more :)

jo: thanks kind lady! hope you're doing well.

niina: it's strange because I'm not a ring person either, but I do like owning them. It makes no sense, I know.

andrea: pretend away! I love that film too.

odessa: that's exactly how I saw Katherine too.

laure: merci!

gracia said...

Ah! Torn between Anne Elliot's sea in a ring, and Cassandra Mortmain's "golden heat"... and Angel Deverell's... and...

Bower bird in me awoken!

MissJW said...

love this post. it's beautiful. something i'd never thought about-- matching rings with characters-- but now i'm intrigued.

Caro said...

So lovely! Adore these pairings.

Sarah Morgan said...

This is beautiful, and not at all silly! I love how you have found such life and meaning in these beautiful rings. This is really such a wonderful post!

hila said...

gracia: the sea, the sea! or we could try to have them all.

missjw: I do strange things sometimes, who knew some of them were good?

caro: thank you!

sarah morgan: ha, well I felt a bit silly.

Jen said...

The imagery is divine, and I feel like each one is a perfect match. I'm rather in love with quite a few of these rings!

hila said...

jen: thank you!