“…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
“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
“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
Now I’m back in Sydney and making the most of the wifi, I thought I’d take a look at some of the games cropping up to play. I found this one. It’s called ‘Stride and Prejudice’ and it’s the simplest, but most addictive, thing in the world – and just $0.99(US) from No Crusts Interactive. Described as an ‘endless runner based on Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen’ it’s essentially a mix between your typical ‘jump onto each platform as the screen moves’ and enforced reading of classics. It works on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
You are a pixellated, gowned-up Regency female with gold heels and gloves and a shock of brown curled hair (perhaps Lizzy), and you have to run across the screen jumping from sentence to partial sentence in the book by tapping the screen. Continue reading
“[Mr Darcy]’s not actually real – you are” – Emily Albright to Spike
I took a trip back to Sydney and, in Elizabeth’s secondhand Bookstore in Newtown, found an $8.80 secondhand paperback copy of the 2007 romance-fiction style Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter. Of course, I bought it. Unfortunately, having now read it, I think Ms Potter does herself a disservice with this novel. ISBN: 978-0345502544
When I was looking for more covers to show you in my latest Top Five Pride and Prejudice covers, I stumbled across a self-published beautifully illustrated eBook version by artist Elizabeth Monahan. The gorgeous cover, below, has a slightly quirky style to it with Lizzy and Darcy obviously at odds. I was completely struck by it, and decided to contact her to ask more about where her ideas come from, and if we are to expect some more of her art sometime soon.
Monahan happily agreed to answer some questions for The Bennet Sisters, and also provided a few other illustrations for readers to see. They’re so lovely, I’m squeeing! This is something I’d love to give to a friend or relative at Christmas, and that has a rich, strong style to it but also manages to be lovely and whimsical. Certainly not an easy thing to do. Continue reading
Illustrated with “silhouettes by her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh” – cover
I was walking through Glebe on the phone to my sister when I spotted this book, ISBN 978-0712349857 on an outside table of Glebebooks. It was on sale with an ugly reduced sticker (noting it was now for $14.95) and, despite a slight covering of dirt, perfect. For any Sydneysiders, there’s a few copies left if you head there soon.
“A modern Pride & Prejudice that will rock your world … Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘N’ Roll” – Book cover
I picked up this 2011 modern retelling of our Pride and Prejudice from Glebe’s Sappho Books secondhand for $12 the other week – I spotted it straight away on the shelf (I think my brain is tuned into anything with the words ‘Darcy’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ or ‘Bennet’ on it). I have struggled about where to begin with this review as I really enjoyed some aspects of it, and yet completely disliked other parts. Heather Lynn Rigaud has certainly succeeded in writing a book that will divide opinion, and my feelings are definitely mixed. By the end of it, you’ll feel as though you’ve gotten to know all the characters well, but you’ll also feel like you’ve run a marathon. Let me explain.
“The day of the ball allowed no tranquility, no peace of mind. What I had hoped would be a time of sweet anticipation turned rapidly into a nightmare,” – Page 102, Chapter 11
I was honestly blown away by how much I liked this book. The first Austen-inspired book to come from Pamela Mingle (who wrote Kissing Shakespeare), and potentially one of my favourite Mary Bennet remakes out, The Pursuit of Mary Bennet is how I like my Austen fiction written. It may even surpass most other Mary Bennet versions just due to how inkeeping it is with what is expected from Mary, and the multiple pursuits happening within the book – emotional/love pursuits, actual chasing pursuits of scandalous characters and a deeper more personal pursuit for a place and meaning in life.