A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Reasons Why We Can’t Stop Reading Jane Austen.
Edited by Susannah Carson.
Another bargain find at Sydney, Central Station’s Basement Books (I believe for $4.95 although this hardback has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while and I can hardly remember). This is a collection of 33 essays from a range of academic names, film directors and even fiction writers and psychologists about their own personal journeys with Jane Austen. Featuring the instantly recognisable names of C. S. Lewis, Virginia Woolf, Amy Heckerling and J. B. Priestley it’s an absolute gem.
(Isn’t the dust jacket adorable!)
“A heroine’s guide to Life and Love”
This gorgeous read by Patrice Hannon was given to me by Pauline (my bestie, and member of the frequently-mentioned Jane Austen book club) for Christmas. It’s an absolute delight, and a really nice concept. Written in epistolary style, it is a book of advice from Jane Austen to modern-day “heroines in training” as though Jane herself was writing it (with full knowledge of the 21st Century) in response to their desperate questions. Explaining her advice with references to her novels (there are plenty of Pride and Prejudice quotes and examples) and intersplayed with biographical details about Jane’s life and family, it is a remarkable read.
Potentially categorisable as a ‘self-help’ or Agony Aunt style book- there can be no possible better rules and etiquette guides than Austen herself. Patrice Hannon does an incredible job of speaking in Austen’s voice, and explains Elizabeth Bennet and all her heroine’s decisions in the process.
I maintain on this blog, and to all the people who ask me in bewilderment, that the importance of Pride and Prejudice- for me, that is- is the relationship between the females. It is only fitting then that, as I was curiously reading Dillner’s book about sisterly affection, Pride and Prejudice should be mentioned multiple times- and a quote from Cassandra Austen should grace the dust jacket “She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow; I had not a thought concealed from her, and it is as if I had lost a part of myself.”
For those readers who don’t live in Australia, or watch the news, Queensland is currently undergoing a terrible natural disaster. There is widespread flooding, leaving a trail of destruction of homes, belongings and cars- and worst of all causing there to be numerous missing people and deaths. It is hard to imagine this sort of terror happening in one’s own country, if in the world at all and what those people are going through we can only guess at.
Luckily, Australians seem to stick together in times of crisis. We saw this through the Victorian bushfires, and we see this again with the outpouring of support and fundraisers at this current time. One such fundraiser is from the blog of Zinnia Pea who is selling a Jane Austen tea pot via auction to raise money for those in strife, the money of which will then be donated to the Queensland Government’s Flood Relief Appeal.
I hate to keep up with Hollywood gossip, and what actors/actresses are doing, but ever since the A&E/BBC ’95 Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, I have personally longed to see them both grace the screen together again. My wish was granted, in a bizarre way, with both having returned to act in The King’s Speech (released 10 December 2010), which I have just seen at the movies.
Are you zombied to death yet? Because March of this year we can look forward to the release of the third instalment in the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series. “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After” with a reportedly zombied-up Mr. Darcy on the front cover. Although, to be honest, I’m not 100 per cent sure what I’m looking at below.
It’s already available for pre-order and I am sorely tempted. RRPing at (US)$12.95 according to Amazon, it sounds like a bargain (particularly if Hockensmith can keep up the effort from Dawn of the Dreadfuls). The title is a nice little wordplay, and manages to give nothing away about the story itself (will it really be dreadfully? Somehow I think not.) which is refreshing.