Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Jane Austen Handbook and Q&A with Margaret C. Sullivan

Some books are a delight to read.  Some make your insides mushy, and have you quoting paragraphs to your friends.  This, The Jane Austen Handbook, is one such book.  I received an advance copy two days ago for reviewing purposes from Quirk Books, based in the US (and publishers of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), and have stopped only for water and to pay my morning calls (as Sullivan tells us, “A formal morning call lasts from quarter of an hour to half an hour”).

A re-release of the 2007 “The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World”, “The Jane Austen Handbook: Proper Life Skills from Regency England” has a beautiful new cover that, along with the “new book” smell, would make me squeal had I not known to behave in a more elegant manner.  The little step-by-step guide, in “how to” form, is an adorable Austen novel companion, available in mid-March 2011 for (US)$16.95.

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Pride and Prej themed day out: Vaucluse House

It’s difficult for us kiddos to find Pride and Prejudice (or Jane Austen, or Regency) related places to visit in Sydney, or anywhere in Australia really.  So when one does find a place that is utterly perfect for (in this case) a book club, or a fan, it is one’s duty to share the discovery.  Now, I can’t claim that this was created to fit Pride and Prejudice (because, um, it wasn’t) nor can I claim that the links were as obvious as some might like (they aren’t).  But it was so charming, and delightful, a day and so steeped in Pride and Prejudice fun that I can’t help myself in sharing it.

Vaucluse House, from the Historic Houses Trust, in (fittingly) the wealthy suburb of Vaucluse, was built by William Charles Wentworth between 1805 and 1860.  While a lot of scandal exists behind the Wentworth name, the house is a stunning example of architecture and decor of the time, plus the history is incredible (The Australian newspaper, the first independent paper, was created by Wentworth).  Costing us a mere $4 concession (got to love being a student) which included a fantastic tour by a lovely guide it’s a fantastic glimpse into the lives of people at the time. We were even allowed to go past the barriers and walk around some of the rooms and gaze longingly at various grandfather clocks, pianos, fireplaces, statuettes and chandeliers on display.

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Yet ANOTHER director for PPZ

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the (hopefully) soon to be started Lionsgate flick, has undergone a turbulent year of different directors, rumours and actors in-and-out.  So, I bring you another potential director Craig Gillespie known mostly for some episodes of that series The United States of Tara (which I disliked) and Oscar-nominated Lars and the Real Girl.  He’s also doing the 1985 Fright Night remake that should be hitting the screens in August.

But why has it been so difficult for this venture to find a director?  Particularly when it has a high cult following, and is almost guaranteed to make some big numbers at the Box Office? Is it, as frequently suggested, scheduling problems?

(Trailer: Lars and the Real Girl)

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The top ten P&P Borders Covers

As many of you know, I am picky when it comes to books and their covers.  If a book is ugly, I will generally refuse to buy it.  I’ve previously presented my “Top Ten Pride and Prejudice book covers” as well as the “Top Ten Foreign Pride and Prejudice Book Covers” however I was looking through the Borders website the other day, and I found some new ones (I almost squealed the house down).  And yes, I went through all 874 results for this!  I have endeavoured not to include eBooks when it is clear (but sometimes they are listed wrongly) and I have not included books from the previous lists, at least not to my knowledge.

10.)  This pink and purple cover is girly enough to make me grin, but not too sugar-plum-fairy.  I like the little understated illustration, and I think it would be perfect for a first copy for a 14 year old or similar age.  It’s a US Penguin Edition from the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition series.  Ahh, Penguin, how much do I love thee…

Pride And Prejudice'

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Jane Austen for Twitter #A4T

If you follow many Janeites and Austen authors on Twitter you may have been wondering what this #A4T thing is that is being thrown onto the end of narrative tweets.  It means “Austen for Twitter” and is a fantastic Austen Project where fans write a Jane Austen story using Twitter, and using any of the characters and scenarios.  This is social media collaboration at its finest.

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Pride and Prejudice and Strippers

With the new Burlesque film hitting the screens lately (starring the lovely Christina Aguilera), it looks as though everyone wants a piece of the action.  And Pride and Prejudice (and Zombies) hasn’t been left out.  A group called “Book Club Burlesque” in New York have held a “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Strippers” night apparently to “promote literacy”, “showcase unique talent” and “have SEXY FUN!”.

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