I love the Australian magazine Frankie. Gorgeous drawings, hilarious articles and anecdotes and pages of funky accessories that I’m not hipster enough to buy but alternative enough to enjoy staring at. It’s on beautiful paper (I get weird looks when I say that, but it’s completely true and any other bibliophile will understand) and satisfies my print magazine craving in a way that only a few magazines can.
Imagine my surprise today when, in Issue 64, I flicked open to a gorgeous picture of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (based on the BBC Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle drama), both reading and facing in different directions. Love love love it.
“[Louisa] had never seen Caroline so discomposed by anyone as she seemed to be by this Mr Wickham, and she feared lest he might supplant Mr Darcy and his great estate in Caroline’s heart.” – Chapter 11, Follies Past
Follies Past does what many Pride and Prejudice spinoffs cannot do well. It fills in the blanks, while being original, and stays true to the characters in the novel.
This was sent to me for free in Kindle format by the publishers for the purpose of review, and I was happy to receive it. Released in October 2013, Follies Past by Melanie Kerr ISBN-13: 9780992131012 has seen some pretty good reviews online, and I’m happy to now add a pretty positive review to that stable.
“…what is one of the supreme honours Mr Collins can envision Lady Catherine bestowing on Elizabeth Bennet and her friends? Why, drinking tea with her, naturally.” – Introduction
Tea is a hot topic for all Janeites, and I’d be a liar for saying I don’t conform to the earl grey-loving, tea leaf snipping stereotype in some way (even if my daily drink is coffee). I also spend a sickening amount of time looking at beautiful vintage tea cups on Etsy and lusting over them. Continue reading
“…Lovett weaves a romantic, suspenseful, and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.” - Blurb
We all get excited when another Jane Austen spinoff is coming out, so you’ll understand why I’m on the edge of my seat for Charlie Lovett’s upcoming ‘First Impressions’. Set to be published in October, on the 16th, from Viking, the title obviously comes from Jane Austen’s “first draft” title of Pride and Prejudice – which obviously has bells ringing for any P&P fans in search of their next read. Continue reading
“She was growing used to slippers and empire waists, she felt naked outside without a bonnet, during drawing room evenings her mouth felt natural exploring the kind of words that Austen might’ve written.” – Austenland (novel)
Like many Jane Austen fans, I sat on the edge of my seat awaiting Austenland to arrive on our screens. And then I quickly started reading the very negative reviews rolling in, and found myself hesitating to watch the film. In fact, by the time I got around to seeing it even friends of mine who only vaguely know who Jane was had seen it. Continue reading
“The strength of the relationships between some of the sisters in Jane Austen’s works mirrors the close relationship Austen enjoys with her own sister.” – Page 8
This little hardback book of Jane Austen quotes is a quaint collection of her words around “Sisters, Suitors, Families and Friends” that does itself the disservice of looking unattractive. I found the 1999 Grange Books, DoveTail imprint, published A Jane Austen Miscellany at City Basement Books in Melbourne for the cheap price of $5, and snapped it up happily. I also bought a couple of poetry books (Keats) and a children’s book – all very well priced. Continue reading
“[Jane Austen] nuanced her way into every aspect of the book, and I just went along for the ride. Austentatious is, in part, a (loosely interpreted) modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice, and part homage to the wit and timelessness of Ms. Jane Austen.” – Author’s note
Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight was another book I found at the Melton Library when browsing the shelves. IBN: 978-0-7582-6743-6 the quick read kept me company on the train back from work each day for the past week, as I stumbled through it. The initial impression I had was that the tone of writing is strange and takes a while to get used to, perhaps very conversational, very hurried – jumping to conclusions that not everyone would make. With the story located primarily in Austin, Texas, for an English girl like me, and an Australian resident, it was hard to understand some of the concepts of the much-discussed ‘Weird’ t-shirt and other, perhaps cultural, differences. Overall, however, it was a good romance novel for young adults that spans from the realm of magic to sex, Jane Austen and good old fashioned journaling.
“Jane tucked the letter into the folds of her cloak and looked at him, realizing that in the groom she had found an ally who would not betray her indiscretion.” – Prologue
I firstly must admit to liking this book against my better judgement. I found a paperback version of Sally Smith O’Rourke’s The Man Who Loved Jane Austen ISBN: 978-0758210371, along with six other Jane Austen-related reads, at my local library (Melton). The small paperback was the second I began reading out of the stack, and I was quickly hooked. Continue reading
“She slid a finger over the mantel, laid a hand on the snowy freshness of the linen… She sniffed: beeswax, the tang of vinegar, soft woodsmoke from the crackling fire. ‘Well done. Good girls. You should be proud of that.’”- Longbourn, Jo Baker, page 131
Jo Baker’s Longbourn is everything that a Pride and Prejudice retelling should be – true to Austen, romantic, sensitive, thoughtful and, importantly, original. Bringing a new spin to our beloved Jane Austen’s creation, Baker has spun a story that is so separate and new from the Darcy/Lizzy love story, but that provides you glimpses of the original from a removed viewpoint. Think about this: Who has to wash Elizabeth’s petticoats after she has trudged through the mud?
“Charlotte was frequently ‘all astonishment’, while I ‘could hardly keep my countenance’.” – Kaelyn Caldwell, Author’s Preface
All of our lives would be benefitted extraordinarily from learning a little bit more from Jane Austen. If we all acted with as much propriety, gentility and with as many manners as some of our favourite heroines (who, even in their most awful moments, are really not that bad), then we wouldn’t go far wrong. This new book is certainly going to be a huge help in providing us some life instructions to speak, and live, more like our beloved Regency characters.
In fact, the concept of behaving in a more Regency way, of acting like Elizabeth Bennet, was the topic of an eBook that I was provided a review copy of. How to Speak Like Jane Austen and Live Like Elizabeth Bennet by Kaelyn Caldwell graced the Kindle app on my iPad mini over the Christmas break and since, and has provided me some fantastic amusement – and, one would hope, some personal character improvement. Continue reading