Here is a soothing dose of home decor, a handmade paper later that "when illuminated ... adds centuries of character to any wing in your manor!"
Although the words "Austen" or "Jane" are not included in the product's writeup, wouldn't you agree that the design and feel are most definitely Austen-inspired? Click image or link below for more views.
This "Estate of Mind Lantern Shade
" is currently available at ModCloth.
Click to view interview on Salon.com
I thought this book seemed timely, especially considering our most recent reading discussion group! :)
This writeup about a new book coming out caught my eye, especially the title of the article, "Dating tips from Dickens, Austen and Tolstoy." I was hooked! The book, titled Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels can Teach You about Date Expectations, Not-so-great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internet Personals, was co-authored by journalist Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan, a medieval lit scholar.
In the interview, Kelly dishes on her views on what we can learn about modern courtship from examples in Austen's novels:
"And even with Jane Austen — even with books written during an era when courtship was so much more formal — there’s a lot of philandering and a lot of wondering about where relationships are going that feels familiar. Maybe even more, with Austen, there are questions about finding the person who will help you become your true self, and your best self — about self-realization — which feel very relevant."
What do you think? Please leave a comment!
At our January 8 reading group meeting, Regional Coordinator Kim Higgins discussed a "sharing library," and many members shared book recommendations for fellow Janeites. If you have a book or two to share, please consider bringing them to our next reading group discussion (see our Events page
Here are some of the titles and authors recently shared:
- Georgette Heyer, one of the founders of the Regency romance genre. Titles include The Reluctant Widow (1946) and Regency Buck (1935).
- Jeffrey Farnol, also one of the founders of the Regency romance genre. Titles include The Amateur Gentleman (1913).
- Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
- The Little Miss Austen counting book of Pride & Prejudice (fun example: 4 marriage proposals!)
- Graphic novel version of Emma by Nancy Butler and Janet Lee
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Last Sunday, January 8, around 30 members gathered at Shirley Walker-Jones's beautiful and spacious home to enjoy a reading group about disappointed suitors in Jane Austen's novels, a lively discussion facilitated by member Pat Fulbright. Pat began with an interesting round-up of terms related to this gentleman's pursuit, including the words courtship
, and suitress
is an older Anglo-Saxon word, but has been adopted by the modern marketing industry. Many of the terms, such as court
have Norman-French origins, as well as a strong link to political or legal usage. This makes sense in context; marriage arrangements often had, and still do have, major legal implications, as detailed in several of Jane Austen's novels.
Pat counted at least 30 courtships in Austen's 6 novels, with at least 1 failed courtship in each! The group had time to discuss courtships in Northanger Abbey
, Sense and Sensibility
, Pride and Prejudice
, and Emma
. The most spirited discussions revolved around Pride and Prejudice
, and how characters changed after those critical proposal scenes. It was a treat to hear volunteers read aloud the failed proposal scenes in Pride and Prejudice
(Lizzy's rejections of both Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy; also see the YouTube video above), and Emma
(the carriage scene between Mr. Elton and Emma). Did Jane Austen's inclusions of so many failed proposals serve as cautionary tales for young women (and potential suitors)? Can lessons still be learned in this day and age? ;)
Pat also passed out a helpful list of questions to consider during a proposal, reproduced here for all to ponder:
- Compatibility potential -- similarities and differences of personality, values, and interest
- Relationship skills -- communication, conflict management, and openness
- Patterns from other relationships -- both romantic and non-romantic
- Family patterns and background -- parents, siblings, social class
- Character and conscience traits -- temperament, maturity, and integrity
What is your favorite courtship scene in Austen's novels? Please leave a comment and let us know!
A huge THANK YOU from your friendly web manager Jennifer Snoek-Brown. :) The beautiful bouquet of flowers (and accompanying thank you card, see right) I received at last week's meeting makes for a lovely entrance to our home. I smile each time I pass by, and it's truly a delight to take time to "smell the roses."
I really appreciate all the great comments and feedback about our new web site. I am so happy to be able to combine my love of Jane Austen with my love of web design. It's been really fun to put together our new site, which I hope continues to reflect the outlook and goals of our friendly region of members.
And please let us know about any interesting Austen-related news, links, books, etc. for our home page blog (see our Contacts page
to send us an email). One of best things about having an online home for our region is to highlight our shared interests!
Better late than never... Did you make any resolutions for this New Year's? Or participated already in the grand tradition of breaking those resolutions? ;)
Here's a fun look at some (hypothetical) New Year's resolutions for Jane Austen characters
, from the Austen Authors blog. (I have to admit, I chuckled at Fanny Price's resolution.)
Are you an admirer of Charles Dickens, as well? It's a great time to show our appreciation, as we enjoy the bicentenary of this influential English writer, born February 7, 1812.
If you are interested in joining a Charles DIckens Reading Discussion Group, to be held quarterly, please contact member Kelly Kirschner
FYI, Masterpiece on PBS will be showcasing several TV adaptations of Dickens's works this spring, including The Old Curiosity Shop, Great Expectations, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Check out this spring schedule on the PBS web site
for more details.
The second season of Downton Abbey -- an extraordinarily detailed and engrossing historical soap opera of Edwardian proportions -- is set to air in the U.S. on PBS, starting tonight, Sunday, January 8, 2012. (The British series originally aired in the U.K. this past fall.) Please check your local listings for details. Season 1 began with the sinking of the Titanic, and Season 2 starts off in World War I.
If you miss an episode, not to worry! For a limited time after episodes air on television, you can watch full episodes online at the PBS web site
(click the "Watch Online" link). You can also watch previews of upcoming episodes and check out the Masterpiece spring schedule.
Click to view this image and more at Austencats
You can combine your love for Jane Austen AND cats with this site, Austencats
, by member Debbie Guyol and friend Pamela Jane. It is a web site "for Jane Austen-lovers, cat-lovers, and people who love to laugh (in other words, just about everyone)." There's a Mr. Darcy-Cat contest, plus a "Purr and Petulance" photo gallery. Fun!
FYI and for future reference, Austencats
is also now included on our Links page
Click to view larger image and article
Ancestry.com researched and discovered the connection this past summer, after the royal wedding of the century. It turns out that Kate and Jane are 11th cousins, 6 times removed, and their common ancestor dates back to the 15th century: Henry Percy, the 2nd Earl of Northumberland.
There's an interesting graphic (see right) breaking down the family connection in this Daily Mail article online
. Click the link or graphic to view a larger image of the family tree and to read the entire article for more info.
Isn't it exciting that the new "people's princess" Kate Middleton, aka Duchess of Cambridge, is (distantly) related to our favorite author Jane Austen?