Thursday, May 23, 2013

Maria Grace's Trilogy

Dear Readers, I have been away for some time, but I just read a trilogy that makes me want to come back to the blog to talk about the trilogy written by Maria Grace. Darcy's Decision, The Future Mrs. Darcy, and All the Appearance of Goodness. I was okay with the first book. Georgiana was a little more childish than I would prefer, but she is young so I could forgive. Then there was book two and I was disappointed on how Lizzie was portrayed. Gone was the strong heroine so many girls have loved and in her place a nervous ninny like character whose stomach always hurt because she was upset. I can get Lizzie being upset if her father was short with her, but I can't see her getting as defensive and sad as Ms. Grace made her. I feel she did a real injustice to the great Lizzie Bennent. Then we come to the third book, which really I just wanted to throw away. But if I did that I would also throw away my Kindle Fire and I don't want to do that. There are books I like on it. The third book had Fitzwilliam, Darcy's cousin go after Jane instead of Bingley. I get liking Fitzwilliam. Who doesn't feel a little sad for him? He deserves a good wife, but Jane? Really? Am I the only one who likes Bingley and Jane? And Lizzie originally has a thing for Mr. Collins? Really? Jane Austen made him ridiculous and someone else writes him as a Greek god? On the other hand I have always said if you're going to rewrite Pride and Prejudice then REWRITE Pride and Prejudice. So Ms. Grace did just this. Although I wonder why she let Lizzie and Darcy get together with destroying so much of the rest of the story. I did appreciate that Mary got a happy ending. I think she is overlooked and does deserve some of the shine. But really. The trilogy just made me not want to read anymore Pride and Prejudice remakes. But I did finish them because I was determined to do so. Nancy Pearl's rules of reading made me finish. But why does Elizabeth have to suffer an attack? Why must authors always move toward rape in order to show a woman in danger? Can Regency women not feel other dangers? There are many to speak of although in today's time they don't translate and rape translates as bad regardless of the time period. But I resent using it so Elizabeth can be rescued by Darcy. I think this takes a serious topic and almost trivializes it. Do you have a book that is fan fiction that totally ruins the characters for you?

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Day I Became A Regency Snob

There comes a day in every reader's life when she realizes she has become a snob when it comes to her favorite genre. Recently this happened to me! Shock of all shocks. Or perhaps not.

Now in my quest of all things Jane Austen I have read some absolutely ridiculous novels and when I say ridiculous I mean ridiculous. So ridiculous you laugh out loud and the book that was incredibly horrible becomes so stupid it's funny and one of the best things you've ever read. But I keep reading, even the really horrible stuff that makes me want to crawl back in time and just read nothing but my own work. But I have a public that cries for me to post. Okay, it's just my ego that cries for me to post. But read on I will.

I just finished a Kara Louise book. Now I loved my first Kara Louise "Pemberley's Promise". It has since been reissued with many different titles and in reality it has some issues. There are things that happen in it that would not happen in real Regency times. But I forgave her. Why? Because I had not yet become a Regency snob.
So I bought her book "Something Like Regret" and was excited to read about the niceties instead of all the hot and heavy sex people like to write about. The premise had me a little sad since Mr. Bennet dies and I always loved him. But it was needed for the story. Elizabeth was forced to become a governess, which is a little far fetched considering Elizabeth did not have the world's best education and couldn't teach things like painting and drawing or French. Skills we all know every lady must have to be truly accomplished.

But this was just the first in a long line of faults of the novel. I wanted to stop reading so many time because I wanted to scream "THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN IN REGENCY ENGLAND!!!!" That's the problem with knowing your history. You want other people to know it as well. Especially if those people are writing about it for a living. It's so easy to do research now although easy doesn't always mean right. The internet has opened up vast quantities of knowledge, you just need to be able to separate the good from the bad. There's no excuse to make mistakes in a novel when five minutes on Google could save face. And if your plot won't work unless you break 101 Regency rules maybe you should rethink your plot or make your novel an update instead of a rewrite. Today Elizabeth could easily be a nanny and Mr. Darcy a CEO. Hmmmm.....note to self: New plot idea......

The reality is, I did like the Kara Louise book "Something Like Regret", but I had to get over my snobbery to like it. So read it if you like, but make sure you keep your nose in this atmosphere when you read. Because a sky high nose in the air with Regency snobbery will only make this novel fall flat.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Digs

Hello everyone. I know it's been an awful long time since I last posted, but so much has happened.

I love doing a blog, but realized I cannot do it on my own. So I will not be posting to Jane Austen Regrets anymore.

I have started a new blog called The Fourmiddables. Please join myself (Jane Austen), Charlotte Bronte, Dorothy Parker and E. Nesbit as we discuss novels and life. In July there is a rumour that George Sand will be joining us. (How exciting)!

My day to post on The Fourmiddables is Thursday, but I do hope you stop by and check out the rest of the week's posts. George will be taking over Wednesday. Currently Charlotte posts on Mondays; Dorothy on Tuesdays; Wednesdays are open; I post on Thursdays and E. Nesbit posts on Fridays.

Our address is :

I hope you'll join me in this new venture.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Bestseller

I was pleasantly surprised today while scrolling through Kindle's bestsellers to see that a number of my novels make the top 100. Granted the books are free although you can pay for copies as well, but with all the e-books available it amazing that my novels still resonate with people. Pride and Prejudice is the top seller of my novels, which comes as little surprise. But Northanger Abbey makes the list and Mansfield Park does not. This I find interesting because NA is a bit of a black sheep or at least not as well loved as the others. It is a mistake though since many of my favorite lines come from this particular novel and I think Henry Tilney is quite the dark horse as a hero. So if you have a Kindle or feel like downloading Kindle for your PC or Mac for free do so and revisit some classics at an incredibly affordable price. As for myself I just downloaded The Count of Monte Cristo and yes, I will be picturing a delicious Jim Cavezel as Edmund.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Longbourn's Unexpected Matchmaker

I know some people have been waiting for this post. Well wait no longer. Today I'd like to talk about Emma Hox's book "Longbourn's Unexpected Matchmaker". This book is Pride & Prejudice revisionism. Normally I have issues with P & P revisionism. I don't understand why you mess with perfect story like P & P, but there have been some exceptions and one of them is definitely Ms. Hox's novel.

I have spoken before about how everyone turns P & P into an extreme drama. There are rapes and murders and kidnappings and who knows what else. This is very un-me or un-JA. I wrote about people and about their lives. Great characters and Ms. Hox stays true to them, which I like. The story unfolds and there are some Lydia elopes moments, but love triumphs.

I bought this book for my kindle and will say one part I did not enjoy were some of the typos. Now this is not something that happens in Ms. Hox's book alone. I have read many Kindle books with typos where there were not typos in the print copy. I am not sure why this happens, but at times it took away from my enjoyment of the novel. Hopefully subsequent editions will have this fixed.

There were some surprises in Matchmaker, but I will not ruin them for you. I'll let you read the book yourself, which I highly recommend you do.

As a side note, I do hope Ms. Hox writes more. I'd like to see a few other revisionisms besides just P & P or see how she handles a sequel. I'm dying to know what fate befalls Georgiana. So far I have only read one sequel where I like what happened to Georgiana and that was "Conviction" by Skylar Hamilton-Burris.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lost In Austen

Tonight Lost In Austen was replayed on Ovation Network.It made me wonder "Do we get lost in Austen or does Austen get lost on us?

We have paired Austen with vampires and zombies. Written sequels to Pride and PRejudce that are saccharine sweet, sultry, or just plain ridiculous (Darcy and Bingley getting it on? Lizzie in love with Charlotte?) We created a romance between Jane and Tom LeFroy because we wanted the woman who wrote great romances to have a great romance herself. But have we lost sight of the real Austen?

I once heard an English professor claim Gatsby from Fitzgerald's classic was gay because he wore a pink suit. I've always hated it when people push 21st century ideas and ideals onto people and books that were of another time. I think we might be doing this to my Regency counterpart and I'll admit that I might be part of the problem.

JA worship runs high, fast and strong, which is part of the problem. People like me not only blog about JA we buy books that relate to her and since have made JA a cash cow. So publishers will print any sort of muckity muck because it will inevitably sell.

Part of this means that we don't read JA anymore. Not the original. Instead we read her with ultraviolent zombie action or read about her characters who have actually lost a bit of themselves. Joan Aiken writes that Lizzie once knew Charlotte in the book Lady Catherine's Necklace. She suggests that they were mere acquaintances and not the close friends that JA had made them in her original book. Another author said Darcy would never friend anyone who was in trade or even slightly removed. Well JA hints that Bingley's wealth comes from trade.

So I think Austen has been lost on us. I think we watch the movies instead of read the books and while I thoroughly enjoy some of the movies it's a shame because Austen was a great writer. She created characters one loves and while there was drama in her novels it is not like the drama people create now. Drama is not rape and murder. It's your sister ruining your family name by eloping. It's the loss of a father and as such the loss of a promised life (entails etc). It is losing the love of your life because he's secretly engaged. In today's standard not drama at all. That's what I love best about JA. They're stories about people....real people and not this jacked up idea of drama and fiction we have today.

So while I wish the world truly was lost in Austen, I fear Austen has been lost on us.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jane Austen as Eminem

I just read this great article about JA fan fiction in Salon:

And this is my response:
I have read the Jane Austen fan fiction or at least 150 of them. Recently I spent a week trying to discover all the fan fiction that was out there and came up with a list of about 254 books although I'm sure it's not a complete list. Some of the sequels, revisionisms or updates I like. (I'll admit to liking the updates the best especially Melissa Nathan's). I do wonder about the revisionisms. In almost all of them Darcy and Elizabeth still end up together. So why bother to rewrite it in the first place? I have a blog where I pretend to be Austen and write about how she would feel about the fan fiction and sometimes it's a little more about me. (Vain I will admit, but it was an assignment for grad school while getting an MLIS). The updates don't bother me as much because people take Austen's plot and update it, but they at least have to add some new items. I'll admit that I am doing an update of Northanger Abbey, but it's just for kicks. I am a JA fan and one thing I have to admit is I'm tired of the hooplah and people reading the fan fiction and not reading the original JA. Now JA has just become a cash cow and that makes me sad.

Perhaps by writing this blog I am adding to the hooplah. I don't pretend that I am as witting or talented as JA, but I do like her and her books mean a lot to me. So this is my tribute sad or wonderful as it may be.