“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.
I found it today in Newtown, Sydney. It’s ‘The Perfect Handbag Copy’ that I’ve been waiting forever to have. At least, I now see it that way even though I’d been fairly happy carting along a couple of different full-sized versions up until this point. It’s stylish, smaller than the width of my handspan, and the font is still easily readable.
From UK’s Octopus Publishing Group, bargain books branch Bounty Books, it’s really cute! Just £3.99 on the site (£7.99 on the cover) or, as I snapped it up for, (AU)$9.95 (in Modern Times, Newtown), it’s a paperback and was published on 1 November 2011 (according to their website). ISBN: 9780753722725.
“I would not let Martha read “First Impressions” again upon any account, and am very glad that I did not leave it in your power.” – Jane Austen
I trekked from Sydney to Canberra a few weekends ago to see an original handwritten letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra that is housed in the National Library of Australia after my publishing editor told me that he had seen it there some weeks ago. Three hours, traffic stress and seventy dollars worth of petrol later and I had made it to Australia’s capital, ACT. Every moment was worth it, to see this:
(A big thanks to N for going back in to take the picture on her iPhone, how would I do without?)
“Dating these days is like walking through a minefield”- Lauren Henderson
It has been far too long since I have blogged, and there’s probably an apology in this somewhere. Similarly, it has been over eight months since book club. Potentially the worst, and the best, book club this side of the world I’m willing to admit that my own new job (raise your teacups to getting paid to write!) combined with juggling other commitments has not made me the most easy person to organise around for a book club with four other busy ladies. As this has been the case, Persuasion, the book of so much emotion, has been kept very much overdue. Which almost seems fitting considering the long estrangement of our heroine and hero.
by Laurie Brown
This is a dazzling 2009 version of a “Janeite heads to the past” type storyline. Downloaded for free onto my Kindle on Jane Austen’s birthday, while it took me a while to get around reading it… when I did I was gripped. Packed with historical nuances, detailed comments about the fashion of the time and some raunchy Regency sex (pulled off semi-tastefully, although it did surprise me a little when I first stumbled out of “cute dancing in a ball” chapters and before I even noticed I’m reading “certain-dashing-heroes cutting open beautiful-eligible-female’s corset with knife”) it’s not one to be missed. Continue reading
“Working on the Me before He”- tagline for www.nomrdarcy.com
On one of my internet trawls (I use this word, as it is very much me swimming head-first with my mind wide open, scraping for information) I stumbled on a blog entitled ‘No Mr Darcy’. Feeling very intrigued, I entered, only to fall down the rabbit hole yet again. 22 year old Sara, qualified in writing/literature/publishing from Emerson College, Boston, gave herself the challenge of not dating for a year. And then opened up the doorway for the rest of us to peer in curiously. It’s a treasure, and she spills all with astounding honesty on her blog. But why NO Mr. Darcy? And how can we use Austen to relate to our own lives? It’s all below in a Q&A.
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.
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.