“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
Jane Austen has this uncanny habit of following me everywhere. I haven’t blogged in a while as I have recently moved to Melbourne (for those that aren’t regular readers, I was previously in Sydney) for a new job. It has been a bit of a hectic time, and now that I’ve settled down again I can tell you that one of the few constants I have, has been Austen.
Even though I have left an entire bookcase of Jane Austen books back in Sydney, and I decided not to bring a copy of Pride and Prejudice with me (although I have a digital copy on my iPad), she has still managed to follow me to this new city.
“Doesn’t every girl wish she could find her Mr Darcy?” – Cover
This 2012 book jumped at me from the New Release shelf at Kinokuniya book shop in Sydney (also spotted in Dymocks, Castle Towers, Castle Hill) and I just couldn’t say no. At (AU)$26.99, it’s not necessarily the cheapest read in the world, but it stacks up fairly nicely when it comes to originality, with a title that stands out from the Austen fanfiction crowd.
Our main character, Kate, a freelance journalist, suddenly finds work is getting very tight (something that journalists in Australia are feeling, with Fairfax and News Limited cutting their numbers). Her Grandmother passes away, she is about to be evicted, and she realises she needs to get her finances under control. In pursuit of an article about how girls in the 21st century can bag a rich man, akin to our Elizabeth Bennet, and with the encouragement of her own grief and desperation, Kate decides to do it herself. ISBN: 978-1-444-74283-1
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is still alive today… as a vampire.” – Cover text on Jane Bites Back
I opened this book and thought I was going to hate everything about it. But despite not being a twihard, nor the biggest Pride and Prejudice and Zombies fan… this was surprisingly good. If you’re looking for something that will accurately portray a modern Jane Austen, or that is close sticking to vampire mythology, don’t look here. But, on the other hand, if you’re looking for a book with a half-decent plot, some literary name dropping (Byron, Bronte etc) and a heavy dose of romanticism, then this is for you.
As I recently posted in my Q&A with Bonnie Mae (screenwriter, producer and director) there is a fantastic upcoming movie this year, 2010, from PaperCut Productions LLC– a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice! Not only did I have the absolute pleasure of speaking with Bonnie, but the two lead actors Caleb Grusing and Maia Petee (seen in the pic below), playing Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (of course!), have answered a whole tonne of questions that we’ve been dying to ask.
Well, according to HBI (that’s Heartless Bitches International) she is. Elizabeth Bennet, along with Whoopi Goldberg, Hatshepsut, Joan of Arc, Georgia O’Keefe and Margaret Thatcher, is apparently an “Honorary Heartless Bitch”. But is this as terrible, and downright mean, as it sounds? And why would you list a fictional character along with the likes of Aretha Franklin and Virgina Woolf? Continue reading