Monthly Archives: January 2014

REVIEW, Q&A and GIVEAWAY: How to Speak Like Jane Austen and Live Like Elizabeth Bennet

“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.

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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

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An unexpected delight: Regency dance

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I left work dot on time yesterday to get on a train to Thomastown, Melbourne for a bout of Regency dancing at 6.30pm. I’m not a keen athlete in any way and while I adore dance, I am truly hopeless, with two left feet and two left hands to match. Admittedly, I was a little nervous – an unusual emotion for me to feel – and I had a large coffee while I waited to go in. Before I went in, I knew very little about Regency dancing. Most of us have seen at least one Pride and Prejudice adaptation, where Mr Darcy can use his refusal to dance to belittle, Mr Collins can use his inability to dance well to belittle himself and the women mostly stand around dying to dance with anyone other than Mr Collins. Continue reading

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BOOK REVIEW: Dinner with Mr Darcy by Pen Vogler

“Recipes inspired by the novels and letters of Jane Austen” – Front Cover

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Visiting Newtown, one of my regular book hunting spots, and having already bought secondhand copies of Victorian Entertaining by John Crosby Freeman, Women and Marriage in Victorian Fiction by Jenni Calder and Jane and the Stillroom Maid by Stephanie Barron (at Gould’s Book Arcade further up King Street), I was thrilled to walk down the road and find Dinner with Mr Darcy at Art on King/Modern Times. It was in plastic, for $39.95. It was marked on the back for £16.99 or (US)$24.95 with Canadian prices higher. Continue reading

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Jane Austen in my Christmas and New Year’s celebrations

It’s a brand new year, and Christmas was especially kind to me – with gifts coming from my girlfriend in the shape of a number of Jane Austen goodies. But the real treat was coming home for two weeks to Sydney, where my family, friends and partner live, and spending time with them. If there’s anything Jane Austen would want us to take from Pride and Prejudice (and you may have heard me harp on about it enough) it’s that family you have, and the family you also choose to make for yourself, is incredibly important.

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I got a number of gifts for Christmas from the Jane Austen Centre in Bath and I’m very much in love with them. The one I want to talk about now is the 365 days of Jane diary, seen in the picture below. Before we go any further… let me SQUEE over this wrapping – how beautiful is it! The whole thing was in the blue Jane Austen Centre bag, but it was carefully wrapped in ‘Jane Austen’ wrapping paper (you can just see it peeking out there from underneath the beautiful matching silk ribbon – with her handwriting name and the floral pattern and cameo). And then I opened it to reveal a number of beautiful gifts. Continue reading

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