A Room with a View, Fate, and the Allure of Italy

Once again I will be skipping my weekly history post, but for a very good reason. Today is the 29th of the month, that is, my third wedding month-iversary. In honor of this incredibly important occasion [insert tongue in cheek here], I am going to go slightly off-topic.

In a scene from one of the greatest films ever made, (in fact it is my all time favorite film, and has been since I was twelve years old) two English gentlemen, a vicar and a young unmarried man, are walking through a field in Surrey, talking about fate. They had previously met by chance in Florence, and their paths have once again crossed, by happenstance, it seems, in the south of England.

Vicar: Coincidence is much rarer than we suppose. For example, it's not coincidental that you're here now, when one comes to reflect on it.

Young man: I have reflected. It's fate. Everything is fate.

V: You have not reflected at all! Let me cross examine you. Where did you meet Mr. Vyse, who will marry Miss Honeychurch?

YM: The National Gallery.

V: Looking at Italian Art! You see, and you talk of coincidence and fate! You're naturally drawn to things Italian, as are we and all our friends, aren't we, Freddie? That narrows the field immeasurably!

YM: It is fate, but call it Italy if it pleases you, Vicar.

What the Vicar doesn't know is that the young man in question is passionately in love with the soon-to-be-married Miss Honeychurch, and by the end of the film...well, I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't seen it (even though I consider that a heinous crime to be remedied immediately!)

As it turns out, both men were right! I heartily agree with young Mr. Emerson that everything is dictated by fate; that tiny, seemingly insignificant steps lead us to our destiny. (What can I say? I'm a romantic.) Yet the Vicar was correct as well, at least for me, as so much of my life's path has been steering me toward Italy, and I think it safe to say that I too am drawn to all things Italian. I must have grasped somehow at age 12 that this film would have a great impact on my life, because I became obsessed with it, and my father loves to remind me that I had the entire screenplay memorized and would recite it to anyone who would listen.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I've decided to start a new feature on the blog. Every 29th of the month I will be writing about little details of my wedding. (Don't worry! This is not and will never be a wedding blog! I promise only to recount details of an artistic, musical, historic or anecdotal nature.) What does my wedding have to do with this film? Well, more than you might guess. It is an odd story that starts with my great-great-grandmother in 1861, and follows her daughter to Florence at the turn of the century, and ends 150 years later with a wonderful friend singing a Puccini aria on a rooftop in Rome. But of course, that was really just the beginning. Stay tuned!

Now go watch A Room with a View!