July 1, 2017

Springtime Reading (Update Two)

(If you missed my original Springtime Reading post, check it out here.)

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
This was the first time I've re-read Peter Pan since I read it a few years ago. Funnily enough, I found myself rather bored with it at parts. I didn't dislike it or anything. But I think when I read this I wasn't quite in the mood for J.M. Barrie's style, so that's why the story seemed to take forever.

BUT. I still love it, and rated it 5 stars again on goodreads because my wordy, that ending. *sobs* I do love this story. I love it's sadness, it's humor, it's whimsical randomness and magic. E v e r y o n e should read this. It's such gold. 

(This was part of Heidi's Adventure of Reading Challenge)

Greenwillow by B. J. Chute
Wooow. What can I say about this absolutely beautiful book? This was my first time re-reading it. I remembered it as a sweet, lovely story but rather slow and plodding. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I was completely taken aback this time around. I love this story. I love the writing, the characters, their humor and loves and losses. It's a beautiful story with such depth, but lighthearted and just plain happy nonetheless. *hugs this book* I love it. I just love it.

Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomer
This was my first time reading this delicious summery story, and while I didn't love it as I do The Blue Castle or the Emily books (more about that anon) I did like it very, very much. L. M. Montgomery's stories are so cozily predictable, and yet she keeps them fresh and different every time, even with her classic tyrannical "clan leaders", her whimsical, "odd" heroines, and her beloved Prince Edward Island. 

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
This was soooooo good. I need to re-read more Jane Austen. Why is it I always forget how incredibly good her stories are?? I haven't read NA in f o r e v e r and it was my first time re-reading it, despite having watched the movie many times.  I'm so glad I finally re-read this, as its superiority to the film is unquestionable. I found myself laughing or smiling many times during the reading of this book, and I "re-fell in love" with the characters even more than I had previously. Henry is the sweetest, funniest hero; Catherine utterly amusing but quite relateable; and Eleanor so admirable. She's one of my role models. ;) (And oh yes, Fanny. I didn't think it was possible she could be more annoying than in the movie BUT SHE IS. UGH.) (UGH AGAIN BECAUSE SHE'S SO HORRID.) (UGH.)

Bravo again and again, Miss Austen. I sure do love your books. <3

PS. Austen's "Great Defense of the Novel" is so perfect, I actually underlined some of it in pencil. (Shhh.)

Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery
Like A Tangled Web, this was the first time re-reading the Emily books in years, and when I first read them, I did not like them.

What was wrong with me back then???

I absolutely adored all three of the Emily books this time. (Even Emily's Quest,  although I admit I got a little frustrated with all the drama between Emily and Teddy and Teddy and Ilse and Ilse and Emily.....STAHP.) 
(Emily, Teddy. Ilse, Perry. There we go.) 
(Why  was that so difficult?) 
Funny thing is....I think I may relate to Emily even more than I do to Anne. Because, let me be honest with myself, as much as I love Anne and relate to her love of nature and stories (and share her hair color), I really am not that much like her. I'm not a chatterbox around people I don't know very well, I'm not over-the-top dramatic (as in, I don't say things like "this is a wound I shall bear forever") and I totally would have accepted Gilbert the moment he asked me to marry him. :P 

Anyhow, I digress. I relate more to Emily because, though she shares Anne's whimsical, dreamy personality, she is also much more reserved and quiet and sensible. Thus why I found her a more relatable heroine.

As to the rest of the story, I loved it so so much. Emily's struggles with her family, the loss of her father, her need to write, her ups and downs of childhood and girlhood and then adulthood....it's all so real and heartfelt and wonderful. All the Emily books are now some very dear favorites. <3

(Can we talk about how creepy Dean is in the first book, though? Like....whaaat.)

Alas, I didn't read all the books on my list. Emma, Only a Novel, and Rebecca didn't make it. But that's all right. I had a very delightful springtime, both readingwise and otherwise, and now I'm looking forward to tackling some particular books this summer. I'm not going to make a series for them (because #time and all that) but I will let you in on the few particulars I wish to read: 

To Tame a Land by Louis L'Amour 
(for Jessica)
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott 
(for Olivia)
(I will try, but please understand if I have to put it off due to its length. *hugs*)
and Little Men
(for Miss March).

Here's hoping I can do it! :D

June 21, 2017

A quick announcement....

Hello my friends! I don't have time to say much today but, on behalf of a friend, I have an announcement to make.....my friend has a new blog!

Her name is Anna, and she's actually a "real life" friend. Meaning, I didn't get to know her via blogging. I got to know her the old-fashioned way. By talking. Face to face.

See? There is proof that introverted homeschoolers can make real life friends. :P 

Anyhow, please do hop over to Anna's blog and say hi! (And, if you'd like to be extra amazing, check out her newly-published book on Amazon!!) Here's the link:

Welcome to the blogging world, Anna! 

That's all. :)

PS. Anna, did you notice I used gifs from three of your favorite movies? ;)

June 13, 2017

What fun we've been having...!

Ahem. Miss March...what should I say?

Are you asking me to make a decision???  You know I don’t like to do that!

Oh dear, that is very true. Not five minutes ago you wouldn’t pick between our two movie options. :P

Exactly.  Let’s leave the decision making up to you.  I like that.   So, what should we say, Natalie?  :)

Well hurrah for me. *sigh* Hello everyone! Here we are, Miss March and Natalie, Natalie and Miss March. We’re together. RIGHT NOW. IN MY HOUSE. Having fun! (Which means mostly watching movies, but hey, everyone has their definition of fun.)

(You probably don’t want to know how many movies we’ve watched.  ‘Hem.)  Rest assured we’ve also been doing a lot of talking!  In fact, we haven’t had enough time to talk in person that we’ve even been talking on google chat!  (Okay, only for a little bit.  :P)

Oh, I think they WOULD like to know how many movies we’ve watched. Shall we bare our souls and tell the appalling secret of what that number is?

I don’t know...well, alright.  So far we have seen Mom’s Night Out, several episodes of Robin Hood (I’m making you proud, Olivia. She likes it!!!) (Yes.  Rather.  ;)), Northanger Abbey, Ever After (that one was good!), Random Harvest, The Happiest Millionaire, Emma 2009, North and South, Newsies (Natalie thinks she’s made me a fan.  She just might be right.  ;)), The Moonspinners, Only Angels Have Wings, The Magic of Ordinary Days, Jane Eyre, Father Goose,The Fighting Prince of Donegal (that one was new to me, and quite fun. MARK—-I mean, HUGH. <3)  and of course a darling little home movie—NO! We shall not go into any details concerning that embarrassing film. We shall not even tell them what it was. Right?

But Natalie.  I like details. Details are good things.  

And it wasn’t embarrassing.  At least, I wasn’t embarrassed.  (Were you embarrassed?)  Just don’t listen.  *whispers*  Guys, it was a Nancy Drew movie.  It was very entertaining.  And the interviews afterward were so much fun!! :D

Entertaining. Ha. For you, perhaps. What do you live for, after all, except to make sport for your neighbors and laugh at them in your turn? But in this case it was just you laughing in your turn. :P

Yes.  Well I did laugh.  (It was funny.  I couldn’t help it.  Nobody could have resisted.)  

Fine. I shall forgive you this once. ;)  Just don’t tell anyone how embarrassingly lame and cheesy it was. Otherwise I shall have to leave as soon as I can book a ticket. (Points for anyone who can pick out all the quotes scattered throughout this post.)

Oh, don’t leave!!!  I don’t want you to leave.  But honestly, I like cheese.  And I’m sure our friends do, too.  So you don’t have to worry about the cheesy parts.  Really you don’t.  :P

You’re quite right I won’t have to worry about them, because we’re talking about something else now.
Let’s tell everyone about meeting each other at the airport.

You’re right of course.  And as you’re the one making the decisions, I agree. I’ll start. Let’s talk about my flight, because that was so interesting and everything. Basically, I got on this plane and flew for an hour and then I got off. And even though I couldn’t figure out how that huge big metal object was staying up in the air, it didn’t fall. I didn’t die.

You are very brave.

I KNOOOW! Putting my life on the line that way. I surprise myself sometimes.

We both surprise ourselves sometimes. Like when we had to cross that bridge. What courage we found inside ourselves!

Oh my, yes. Such courageous girls are not often to be found in this world, I think. We were very brave, indeed. (Private joke. You can ask, but we probably won’t tell you. Don’t like to boast, you know.)

Miss March is right. We are as silent as the grave on that point. :P

Aye. Mums the word. ;)

Anyway, to get back to what I was saying about my flight. So I got off the plane and was struck with this terrible fear that I wouldn’t be able to find the baggage area. Like I would get lost forever in the enormous airport and never be heard from again (which of course would be absolutely tragic!)...(and no I'm not exaggerating or being over-dramatic. Not at all. coughcough) But then I looked up and what do you know? There was this huge sign saying BAGGAGE...with this huge big arrow pointing me in the right direction!

Duh. That was easy.

So I followed the signs (because I’m smart) and I came around a corner and there up ahead I saw them! Natalie and her family standing by the wall, waiting for me. They didn’t see me immediately, so I crept up on them, 'hem, I mean, made my way toward them...and then Natalie turned and looked and.... (your turn, Natalie)

Oh, is it truly my turn? My, I nearly fell asleep waiting. *yawn* (kiiidddiiiinnngg)

Well, I tried to interject something earlier during Miss March’s narrative but she would not relinquish the paper so I must say my piece now.

(Have at it. :P)

Where was I? *gets lost in thought* Oh yes. About Miss March getting lost in the airport. I worried over that a little too, although  with less dramatics. I knew we’d find Miss March eventually. She certainly wouldn’t be lost forever. A couple of years, maybe, but not forever. :P

But I digress. Let me tell my half of this exciting story (exciting to us, at least!) My family and I arrived at the airport, thinking we had about 30 minutes before her plane arrived. We parked our car and began making our way into the airport to where we’d meet Miss March. I was so excited. I felt very much like I did the first time I ever met blogging pals but with less nervousness. After all, I had done this before. And I was an old professional at this point!


But upon examining that handy-dandy-screen-that-tells-you-when-the-flights-are-coming
-and-going (whatever it’s called) we discovered that Miss March’s plane was due to arrive in SIX minutes. Eeek! (haha, see what I did there, Miss March?)

(Yes. *glares* How can you be so unfeeling? I thought you was my friend, Natalie!!  *sob*)

We hurried to the point where we’d be picking her up and waited. And waited.

And waited.

Six minutes is a long time when you’ve been waiting six months to meet your blogging friend. ;D
Anyhow, I kept waiting, scanning the faces of the people, wondering when I’d see her. I was starting to get a little nervous at this point. I mean, she’d be here any second. And what if I don’t recognize her or what if we don’t get along or she’s lost or we got the wrong flight time or her plane was lost somewhere over the Atlantic or—

And then I turned around and THERE SHE WAS!!!!!!! And we hugged we each other and it was so surreal. She was real! This was happening! I’VE MET MISS MARCH!!!!!!

Now I’ll hand this over to her because I’ve spent way too much time talking.

You said it, girl. :P

Forgive me, friend.

What’s that?  Goodness me, I must have fallen asleep!  (And you thought I was being long-winded.  Ha!)  Anyway, yes!  It was such a wonderful moment when we actually met, and were finally able to give each other a real hug!  And, guess what? Those momentary fears that we might not get along were totally unfounded. We’ve gotten along swimmingly.  (I mean we stayed up talking that first night until about 1:30.  That definitely ought to count for something.)  

Yes, indeed. And we’re so comfortable with each other that we’ve even begun to insult each other!

Is that an “S”? That’s not an “S”!

*sigh*. There she goes making fun of my handwriting again. :P Everyone, you know how nice Miss March is in the blogging world? IT’S A LIE. She’s a horrid, horrid person! ;P

Yes.  And it makes me feel good all over!!  ;)

All right, all right, enough with the silliness. In all honesty you’re amazing. I’m so glad you visited me. <3 *hugs*

Don’t.  You’re making me blush.  And I’m already red enough.  (Sunburn you know.)

She refuses to wear sunscreen. (Horrid icky stuff.)  Jane, you sad, girl. *shakes head*

Well, Miss March wants me to wrap this post up. We feel as if we could go on and on and on….but you wouldn’t thank us for that. If we went on and on and on. :P

Yes. That is, we’ve been having SO much fun and we have so much we could say (and many movies we could quote….or certain celebrities….whom we’ve been making fun of….shhh.)

And basically, to sum it all up, our visit has pretty much looked like this.  Walking in the park.  Talking.  Sitting the pool.  Talking.  Lying on our beds.  Talking.  Eating food...uh not talking.  When we eat food we watch movies.  That’s how it goes.  

*Nods* That is a pretty accurate picture. But we have fun. Too much fun, probably. I don’t want Miss March to leave. :’(

Aww.  Natalie.  You’re too sweet.  Personally I can’t wait to get out of here, but…(kiiidddding!)  It’s been an awesome visit!  Truly!  We must do it again sometime.  :)  I’m just so thankful for your friendship!!  (I’m so thankful you’re thankful.)  (Isn’t it wonderful the way we agree on things?  We’re just so agreeable.  ;))  

*Both together!*  BYE!

P.S.  One more thing.  I’ve discovered during this trip that there are FAR too many pitiable heroes in fiction. (Thornton, Ray, Mark, Henry, the other Henry, all the Henrys!  ...There’s lots of Henrys.  Did you ever notice that?)  

You’re rambling, my dear.

YOU JUST READ MY MIND!!! That’s exactly what I was thinking.  Wow.

P.P.S.  Also I’m almost finished reading The Blue Castle.  AND IT’S SO GOOD!!!

PS. Well, if you’re DONE now (heh), I want to say something too….except I don’t know what to say. But it’s unfair if you have a PS. and I don’t. *pouts* *runs off to my tower* *if I had a tower*

Which you don’t.

But Henry does.

Yes, but Henry won’t share his tower.  Get your own tower!

May 27, 2017

Why I Love the Characters of BBC's Robin Hood

This is going to be really quick post (because #time) but before this wonderful Robin Hood week ends, I wanted to dedicate a post to one of the things that influences my love for the BBC Robin Hood characters. I've already touched on this in both of my defense posts, but I'll state it again.
I love how real these characters are. 

They all have struggles, failings, and flaws that sometimes make me horrified of them or heartbroken for them. But these struggles are also very relatable, to some degree or another.

Robin, our hero himself, is vain. He struggles with his desire for glory, his need to be loved.

Marian battles her pride and her stubborn refusal to acknowledge when she needs help.

Allan lets his jealousy and greed lead him to betray his closest friends.

Much is ridiculously annoying and gluttonous and selfish and entirely void of tact.

Will's desire for justice can quickly turn to burning revenge.

John is burdened by his past, and his anger at himself can sometimes flare up against his friends.

Djaq lets her fear hold her back from being honest about her feelings for Will.

Roy ran away from home, neglecting his mother and leaving her to wonder if he was alive or dead.

Kate is a self righteous, annoying brat.

Guy's failings would take too long to list, but he's murdered and done all sorts of atrocious acts.

Archer lives according to his own desires and pleasures, without a care for anyone but himself.

But that's only half the story. If these characters never changed, and remained frozen in their sins and struggles, they wouldn't be as endearing as they are. But they don't.
They do change.

Robin realizes that without the love of his friends, the admiration of others means nothing.

Marian learns humility and the art of working within a team.

Allan redeems himself and is faithful to the very end, even when his friends abandon him.

Much proves, time and again, that he's a true hero by risking everything for the friends he loves.

Will channels his anger into helping others.

John is the first to notice when someone is hurting, and the first to try and help.

Djaq finds courage in the darkest moments to do what she never dared do before.

Roy sacrifices himself to save others, including the mother he so long neglected.

Kate fights to protect those she loves.

Guy finds that true power comes from forgiveness...for others...and for himself.

Archer finds himself drawn to helping a cause with completely unselfish motives.

And that's why I love these guys. <3

PS. Olivia, thank you SO much for this wonderful Robin Hood week, dear friend!!! *hugs*

May 26, 2017

"England Needs Me"—In Defense of Marian

Today I'm here to defend one of the most famous heroines (or love interests, depending on which version of the story you read/watch) of all time. Maid Marian, or Lady Marian, as she is called in BBC's Robin Hood. (Yes, this post will be in defense of that version of her character. Sorry if you're not a fan.) (Actually, no I'm not! Because this post is for those who dislike her! Haha.)

*Spoilers for all of the RH seasons are below, read at your own risk. *
*Also, this post is very long.*

In the few years I've been a fan of BBC's Robin Hood, I've come to the conclusion that people either love or hate Marian. Or, to put it less strongly, they either think she's great or very annoying. (My brother falls into the latter category. He doesn't have very good taste. ) (Kidddiiiiing.) (:P)

*Takes a deep breath* Okay.

I'm going to address a few things I notice people usually complain about concerning Marian, and then list a few reasons why I think she's amazing.

She is so beautiful and amazing she was my fav on the show I cried when she dided. I meen I was balling!
Reasons People Give for Not Liking Marian:

1) Marian plays with the feelings of Robin and Guy
A frequent point of dislike I see people have for Marian is how she treats two of the prominent men in her life. They seem to think she encourages both Robin Hood and Guy of Gisbourne without having true feelings for either one. I've read complaints of how her attitude towards each of them seems to change with the wind, how she doesn't truly care for either of them, and how she leads both on simultaneously till her death by Guy's sword seems her just due.


This argument annoys me, quite frankly. I'm not saying her every decision or action concerning Guy or even Robin was perfect. But it's not like Marian was some teenage high schooler, flirting just to kill time. She was a woman in a very dangerous position. She basically had the role of a spy. Can you imagine trying to balance the love of your life and a man who won't leave you alone all while under the tension of high-stakes espionage. UM, I can't.

First off, about Robin. I honestly don't quite understand what people mean by saying that she led him on. She loved him! And she married him. Does that define "leading someone on"?

this moment <3 <3 <3
Now, I will admit it takes them allll of season one to finally admit they have feelings for each other. But what's so unnatural about that? Slow-burn romances are better than "love at first sight", in my opinion, anyways.

During that time in season one, they clash a lot in opinion, despite Robin flirting with her every chance he can get.  But Marian refuses to encourage him. She wasn't ready for a romance again, not after her heart had been broken once already by Robin. This is why she kept her distance, and rebuffed his flirtatious attentions.

She didn't want to encourage him until she knew she could trust him again.

Then there's Guy. Look, I agree. She did encourage him and she did lead him on. I even get frustrated with her sometimes. But here's the thing: It's not like she wanted to do that to him, okay? I don't believe Marian obtained any enjoyment from the role she had to play for Guy. But, in her perspective at least, she had to do it. She couldn't see any other way of preserving her spot in the castle (which she needed in order to help spy for Robin), much less her own life or the life of her father.

Referring back to her role as a spy—Marian was in a very, very dangerous position. She was pulled from so many opposing sides—loyalty for both her father and for Robin created conflict more than once in her life. Add in the angle of maintaining the appearance of obedience to the Sheriff (and Guy) and she had a recipe for disaster in her hands. Marian handled it the best she could, and I think she did pretty well. I know I would have made many more mistakes! :P  So, unless you know you would have been able to juggle your role as a spy, your duty as a daughter, your love for an outlaw, and completely and politely refuse allllll the attentions of Sir Guy of Gisbourne (who can make your life a whole heck of a lot easier if you just pretend to maybe like him, FYI) then I don't think you have room to criticize Marian. :P

Basically, this is all I'm saying: MARIAN HAD A LOT ON HER SHOULDERS, EASE UP ON HER PLEASE, OKAY?? Thank you.

sorry, this is too funny not to include
Another word I would like to share with you before I move on to my next point. Marian did not love Guy like she loved Robin.
But did that mean she didn't care for him?
I don't believe so. Countless times Marian proved that she truly did want the best for Guy, and that she saw the potential for him to be a better man. She encouraged him, gave him advice, even scolded his wrong actions when she could. She presented him with a different view of things, a worldview untainted by the Sheriff's evil. She wanted him to become a hero. She pitied him and tried to help him, but in the end, he chose to go his own way.
ERMAHGERD! i watched this show and died at the end omg the sadness and cuteness and evil and uh!!

I don't believe Marian is in any way responsible for Guy's destructive decisions (especially his murder of her, or his subsequent downward spiral in season three).
Did her actions influence his? Yes. 
Was she responsible for them? No.

We (Marian and Guy) are all responsible before God for our own actions. Not those of others.
(I know that Christianity isn't really a theme in RH, and what little there is can be pretty un-Christian, but my point still stands. :P)

(gif) - Marian: "Thank you, Sir Guy."
awwwwww his smile *cries*

2)Marian is argumentative
I think a lot of people get fed up with Robin and Marian's constant bickering relationship in season one. Now, personally, I love couples that bicker before admitting their feelings for one another. But that's just me, and not everyone has to share that opinion. (Bickering in a relationship is different, though. I only mean couples who bicker before they're in a ship. Just to clarify. I don't think bickering married couples are cute.)

I agree that Marian can be somewhat impatient and stubborn and uncooperative when interacting with Robin in season one. But I think there's a reason for her behavior that we can all relate to.

She wants recognition. For years she had been helping the people of England as the Nightwatchman, bringing food to the poor in the cover of night. Then Robin comes along. Overnight he earns hero-worship for his open defiance of the Sheriff and gains a reputation for "stealing from the rich to give to the poor." Suddenly the Nightwatchman isn't such a big deal anymore.
can we talk about this scene?!?!
I think Marian becomes jealous. Plain and simple. He stole her show, so to speak, and her anger and frustration at this is poured out on him in season one. Not to mention she's still hurt by how he abandoned her during their betrothal and went to seek glory in the Holy Land.

Marian bitterly resents one of Robin's own flaws—his love for glory—and her flaw of resentment becomes evident because of it.

But this is what I love about BBC, guys!! These characters are so real, with incredibly relatable flaws and struggles. Haven't we all resented someone who took credit for our work or gained more recognition for something we'd been doing long before they ever came along? I know I have.

In some ways, Robin and Marian are such polar opposites that it's inevitable they should clash sometimes. He's cocky. She's reserved. He openly flouts the local law. She tries to work within the system. He likes to plan things (or half plan things...). She likes to plunge in, head first.


But at the end of the day, their primary goal is the same: save England. And that's why they work so well together.

3) Marian is prideful
This one isn't so much something I've heard people complain about Marian, but it's something I've noticed myself.

I think Marian struggles with pride. Maybe her pride is the root of all her struggles. And I can relate with this because pride is something I definitely struggle with as well.

Marian's pride is wounded when Robin leaves her for the Holy Land.
Her pride is wounded when he returns and steals glory for work she'd been doing.
When others think her talents and capabilities are limited because she's a woman.
When her father won't stand openly against the Sheriff.
When Robin points out when she's wrong and she knows she's wrong.

You know the episode where Marian joins Robin's gang with the forest? Her pride is at 110% in that episode. She can't let her guard down enough to submit to Robin's authority, admit she can be wrong, and let others see how much she is hurting inside.

Deep inside, I think Marian harbors a lot of fear, a lot of hurt, and a lot of self-doubt. She covers it up with a fierce exterior, allowing her pride to hide her from those who want to help her—and love her—the most.

Reasons I think Marian is a true heroine:

1)Marian is lion hearted
If you can't agree that Marian shows incredible courage time and again, then I must beg a question—have you even seen this show?? Marian risks her life over and over again in order to help the people of England. She openly fights the Sheriff's men as the Nightwatchman, and is constantly in conflict with the Sheriff over matters concerning the people of Nottingham. And when King Richard is about to be killed she puts herself in front of him, right in the path of Guy of Gisbourne's sword.

Granted, I don't think Marian knew Guy would kill her—the thought probably never occurred to her—but it was still a daring thing to run out in front of a man holding a sword, intent on murder. And she died because of that choice.

Even when dying, Marian was brave. All her dreams were being sacrificed in that moment—dreams of a future with Robin, of seeing England become a safer, better place—but she didn't dwell on it. Instead she smiled and reminded Robin that they had yet to finish their marriage vows.

That's courage, if you ask me.

2) Marian is selfless
Marian exhibits an amazing degree of selflessness in the course of the show.  I mean, first there's the tiny fact that she puts herself in danger 24/7 in order to help those who are less fortunate. But besides that, she risks and sacrifices all sorts of things on a day to day basis. Remember her title? She's Lady Marian. She could live a life free from cares and worries. She could live in relative luxury if she only turned a blind eye to the Sheriff's doings and kept herself to her own concerns.

But she doesn't. And she pays for it throughout the show. Her hair is cut as a punishment for helping feed the poor. Her home is burnt down. She's kept under castle (house) arrest. Her father is thrown in jail.

And yet she keeps doing what she knows is right, regardless of the consequences to herself. 

Most of the instances mentioned above are punishments Marian underwent, not exactly sacrifices. But do you remember when she goes back to the castle after her engagement to Robin?  She did that because she could help Robin better in the castle than in the forest. She knew she could better protect him there, and even though she wanted to stay with him, she chose to go back.

Last, but not least, she gave up her life in order to save the king who could save the people of England.

3) Marian cares for others
Maybe point is too similar to the above, but I think it's worth mentioning anyhow. Marian cares for the less fortunate, guys. Giving her life for England aside, she cares for people on a day to day basis. She never allows herself to feel it is her due as Lady Marian to have more than others, and she does everything in her power to help the poor.  She goes into a quarantine zone of the city in order to bring food and medicine to the sick, brings bread to people trapped by the Sheriff, helps Robin rescue a little boy the Sheriff held hostage, and rushes to fight the Sheriff's men attacking the villagers of Clun.

You can't deny Marian cares for others deeply. And that, above anything else I mentioned, makes her a heroine worth emulating.

All specific arguments aside, here are my thoughts:
 Yes,  Marian made mistakes. She had flaws and weaknesses and messed up more than once. Many times, in fact. But isn't that what makes a character relatable and well-crafted?
Not the absence of flaws—but the courage to rise up and change and keep moving on in a better direction.

I don't know about you, but characters like that are some of my favorites, and BBC's Robin Hood is full of characters just like that.

Olivia, our lovely blog party hostess, wrote a REALLY good defense of Marian awhile back. Here's the link. As of now, I can't remember at all what she said, though I plan to read it as soon as I finish this post. ;) So rest assured, Olivia, that if we end up saying a lot of the same things, I promise I didn't steal it from your post! :D

The truth? The truth is, this country is being choked to death. The truth is, honest people are being forced to lie and cheat and steal.
that quote entirely sums up a lot of the stories of BBC Robin Hood, imo