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.
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
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
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
“So pour yourself some tea (in a real teacup and saucer, of course), bring the settee near the fireplace, and settle in to delight in Jane Austen’s world – in just one sitting.” – (Page 12)
Let’s be clear about one point first and foremost – I am not a big fan of “summarised” versions of Pride and Prejudice. And yet, for some reason, I love this teeny tiny handbag-sized volume that was published in 2012. It’s the perfect little gift, published by America’s ‘Running Press’, and is more than just a quick recount of the novels events, including gorgeous little illustrations and details about Jane Austen’s life and times.
Even though the picture here is quite an awful blue, the hardback is actually a slightly more muted pastel baby blue, and design credits go to Amanda Richmond, and to editor Cindy De La Hoz. ISBN: 978-0-7624-4755-8 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.
Q. What’s better than a twelve-foot tall statue of our Mr Darcy in Hyde Park? A. The news stories and comments generated on the back of it.*
(Photo embedded via The Guardian)
“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.