Friday, December 18, 2009

Emma, Surely Not

Recently while roaming the blogashpere I stumbled upon a site which asked what would I be like and what question would you ask me if you met me. I was saddened to learn that many of my fans hoped I was just like Emma. Now I love Emma, truly I do, I created her after all, but I do not think I would want to be like Emma. I do not think I would enjoy meddling in everyone's lives so much that some important things had completely passed me by...such as being in love with a man who has been my neighbor for my entire life. Only to realize that I loved him when I thought he loved someone else. Also I am not sure I would be so conscious of class considering that I am not rich. I am a parson's daughter which means Robert Martin would make a wonderful husband for my friend. It is true that it was hard to not be aware of class during the Regency time, but I would not be in the upper echelons like Emma who had a rich father. I am quite sure though that I could be as thoughtless as Emma is at times. That I could and do say things that hurt my friends whether I do it consciously or unconsciously. I will admit that I have let a man or woman who I would like to be in good favour with mold bits of me and make me act in ways that I normally wouldn't. Although I would like to meet the person who has not done that, but perhaps not everyone is as weak as I am occasionally. I could completely see myself not liking Jane Fairfax and referring to her as "elegant" when I am pressed. I will willingly admit that I know many a Jane Fairfax or many a elegant Jane Fairfaxes if you press me. I would and have hidden behind a parasol from people although I believe today we call them umbrellas. I have meddled in people's lives much to their chagrin I am sure. But to not know that I am in love with what some would consider my best friend? That fault, which I feel is Emma's biggest is not one I possess. Yes, Emma is fun. She is spirited and good hearted and many a people would not mind to be like her, but I am not.

So who am I then? Well I would have to say I am most like Anne. I think I hold things together and perhaps I don't really, but I feel like I do. And I feel like I am the middle child who has yet to accomplish much in her life. That does not mean that I never will; it means that for now I am not where I wish to be even though I have done some very worthwhile things. And because of that I often think of Wentworth and his "Tell me not that I am too late." Words I live by. Tell me not that I am too late. Tell me not that this is it. Tell me not that I have lived. Tell me not that there is not more to be had. Tell me not that I have left my mark. Tell me not....tell me not....tell me not. For I will not believe you. I will hunt and I will fight and I will claw my way to what I want because I rarely take the easy path.

Tell me not.....Tell me not....Tell me not.....Tell me not.....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In Love With A Story

Can you actually be in love with a story? Can you love the story of how you and someone met so much that you forget all the horrible stuff because you want the story to be your story? Is it possible to love a story so much, like Pride & Prejudice, that if you met a Darcy in the same way Lizzy met her Darcy and things progressed like the novel would you want that to be your story even if in the end your Darcy wasn't really as great as Lizzy's Darcy? Does any of this make sense or have I truly lost my touch with reality? Do I want a Wentworth so badly that I would take any Wentworth no matter how badly he treats me?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Two Hundred Thirty-Four

I was born. Two hundred thirty-four years ago I entered this world and although I have physically left it I have never really left it. I didn't become popular until my nephew penned a memoir of me and I wasn't a scholarly pursuit until the 1940s and now I am an international superstar. Even though many a college men have not heard of me. So instead of blogging today I am simply going to say: Happy birthday to me.

Friday, December 11, 2009

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

Recently I saw a book entitled "Willoughby's Return", which is obviously about Willoughby returning to Marianne's life three years after she marries Colonel Brandon. While I think there are a few mistakes in the plot line (I'm not positive because I have not read the book just the back cover) I think it has some interesting points. What happened to Willoughby? He loses Marianne...does that make him broken hearted? The Emma Thompson version of the movie would have us think that.

What about the others in Austen books that have loved and lost? Does Elizabeth Elliot ever recover from losing Mr. Elliot to her sister Anne and then to Mrs. Clay? Does Henry Crawford recover from losing Fanny? What about his sister, Mary, does she recover from losing Edmund?

There are a great many books that continue the happily ever after that I created, but rarely do we see the other side. There are books that show how Lydia Bennet and Charlotte Lucas fair after their choices, but rarely is the one left behind spoken about.

One could argue that Mary, Henry, Willoughby, and Elizabeth are perhaps not good characters. Perhaps they don't deserve a happy ending, but then we must ask ourselves what about the one who does? I have always loved Colonel Fitzwilliam and while she was at Rosings I thought that he and Elizabeth could make a good match. He is jovial and kind although he might have spoken out of turn. I like him. It is Fitzwilliam that I am interested in. I have read some sequels where he and Georgiana make a match of it, which I like. I have read a sequel where he marries Ann de Bourgh, which I wasn't crazy about. What ending would you give Fitzwilliam? What ending would you give any of the broken hearted in my novels? Who deserves to find love and who doesn't?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Second Chances

It seems that second chances are a main theme of my novels or at least most of my novels offer a second chance to their heroes and heroines. Darcy and Elizabeth are given a second chance once they realize that their first impressions were wrong. Knightly gives Emma a second chance after she was so rude to Miss Bates. Although really I'm sure Knightly gave Emma many chances. Henry Tilney gives Catherine a second chance after she says his father murdered his mother and Catherine is sent home in the middle of the night. Edward and Elinor are given a second chance once Lucy Steele changes her alliance.Colonel Brandon gets a second chance after Marianne realizes that Willoughby is lost and perhaps not the best man to have faith in. Fanny gets a second chance with Edmund even though I think he's a lame hero. More importantly Anne and Wentworth are given a second chance at happiness after seven years apart.

I was trying to figure out if I deliberately gave my characters second chances or if second chances are just part of life. Surely we've all been given second chances and perhaps not all those second chances worked out. Perhaps instead of winning the hero we lost him, but we may be given a second chance at love, just not with the same hero.

Maybe the important part here is to learn about forgiveness. Because forgiveness is needed in all second chances. We need to forgive the biting comment that we are tolerable. We need to forgive a foolish mistake made seven years ago. We need to forgive a falsehood that hurt us greatly. We need to forgive an overactive imagination. We need to forgive to find happiness and perhaps during this season this means more to us than we realize.

What about you? Have you been given a second chance? Do you desire a second chance with someone or something?

Friday, December 4, 2009


In a few weeks David Bowie will be turning 62. Yes, yes, I know, why is Jane Austen listening to David Bowie? It seems quite odd, does it not? But I'm struck by Bowie's lyrics:
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

Do you think this is how Darcy felt after Elizabeth turned him down the first time? Did he feel like he needed to be a different man?
Or on the flipside (haha a little LP humour)can people really change? What causes us to change? Did Lizzie and Darcy really change by the end of the story or had they simply realized their first impressions were wrong? Or is the simple fact that we can admit we are wrong actually be the thing that changes us?
There's this really dopey radio station near where I live and it has these incredibly sexist fun facts like "A woman marries a man hoping he'll change and he never does. A man marries a woman hoping she'll stay the same and she changes." I have since stopped listening to this station because really I'm not one for sexist radio. What does it take to change? Does it take time? Does it take a matter of the heart? Does it take a tragedy? Or do we simply evolve as people and every moment we are actually changing?
I feel like I have gone through many changes throughout the years. The person I am now is not the person I was seven years ago and maybe not even the person I was yesterday. But I'm not sure if my day to day changes are an evolution or do I think that I've changed, but in reality come back and see me in six months and I'm basically the same?
I do know this:
Pretty soon I'm gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Sneak Peak

The Sneak Peak has been taken down because I'm concerned about it being stolen.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Agreeing to Disagree

Recently on the Risky Regencies blog Amanda Grange, who I have spoken about here, talked about her upcoming novel Mr Darcy, Vampyre. I voiced my opinion that while I loved Grange's work I would not read her book. I feel that Mr. Darcy should not be a vampire. Ms. Grange was very polite about it and said I did not offend, which is great because I do love Ms. Grange's works. The site carried an excerpt from the new novel and I have to say although I am heartily sick of vampires Ms. Grange's work sounded beautiful. She has a wonderful gift for writing. I was also excited to learn that she is working on an Edward Ferris' Diary, which I really want to read. Although Wentworth is my favorite I feel that Edward has quite a story to tell. His feelings for Elinor mixing and over-riding his feelings for Lucy Steele can you imagine the turmoil? I'd love to know what he was thinking.

So although I will probably not read Mr. Darcy, Vampyre I wanted to give it a plug here since Ms. Grange was so nice about my criticisms. Vampyres maybe not be for everyone, but you might enjoy it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Compromising Position

I have been compromised. Well not recently unless you count the number of times I'm alone in a room with a man. Normally all that's going on is talking and me giving orders since most of these men are in my employ, but nonetheless with all the Regencies I've been reading lately and all the girls I've seen running around camps in clothes that are more scandalous than Lady Caroline Lamb's wetting of her skirts I've been thinking about how many times women today would have been compromised and at what age. My first kiss occurred when I was thirteen and if I was forced to marry him because let's face it, there were witnesses, we were at the May Dance, I would be married to a professional wrestler. Ha! The mistakes we made when we were younger.

I have read that today the average woman kisses 75 men before she gets married. I must admit that I am far behind. I think I'm at 23. I look back at those kisses some innocent and some not and think "If I knew being seen kissing that man would mean I'd have to marry him would I have thought differently....would I have kissed him?" In most cases I'd have to say "No." There were two that I would have actually not minded marrying, but now that I look back at them I could never see myself married to them. Both of these men I knew for quite some time. I dated one for two years and the other for five. I knew them quite well. Can you imagine only knowing the man you would marry for a few weeks during the season? You couldn't really talk alone or just hang out. Everything was chaperoned. Isn't it amazing that there were love matches after all?

My parents have mentioned to me in the past that if arranged marriages between the upperclasses still existed that I would be engaged to a man that I grew up with. I was born exactly one week before he was. The kicker is that although we were friends growing up, we were more competitors and now barely talk. Although for some strange reason we are Facebook friends. Knowing who we would become I'm glad our parents didn't arrange that marriage, but it makes you think.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Teen Angst

I've been noticing a lot of teen or tween books coming out lately with a Jane Austen feel. At first I thought this a little odd, but then it struck me....most of my leading ladies were teens. So transporting my story lines to modern day teen angst do work in a way although teens are not expected to grow up and marry quite as quickly as they did in my day.

I will be posting about Rosie Rushton in the next few weeks. She has updated five of my novels. All of them except my favorite, Persuasion, which incidentally is the one novel of mine that won't fit into the teen angst genre. Even if the Anne character was on the older side of teen, 19, it would still seem odd that she would have found true love at age 12. Although I do know that happens. But would you feel the loss as much as 27-year-old Anne, who at the time was considered an old maid? Today's society doesn't really think of 19 as old maid material. So I will be interested to see what Miss Rushton does with Persuasion. Although I shouldn't talk about not feeling a lost love. I am crushing again on a guy I had a crush on 13 years ago! Ha! Who says your past doesn't come back to haunt you?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Prized Then?

I've been thinking about what people want in a woman today and what people wanted in a woman in Regency times.

Everyone loves Lizzie as a character. Girls want to be her. There are hats that say "Mrs. Darcy". I should know, I own one. The thing is, we love Lizzie now. She's what we like in a modern woman. She has wit and fine eyes. But was she prized in Regency times? We know Mr. Darcy prized her in the end, but not at the beginning. If we remember the movie at least we know Mr. Darcy didn't think her a beauty. Isn't there that line about "I'd as soon call her mother a wit." Very funny, Caroline.

So let's talk about me, Jane Austen. I was not pretty. I was pretty average at least from the one painting of me that still exists. But I do have wit and I wrote some lovely books and while I am prized now and people love me enough to dedicate blogs to me and to write fan fiction about my novels, was I prized in Regency times?

I think it must have been very hard for me. To fit into a world where I had little power as a woman. I had wit, but I was suppose to embroider and be a good housewife, which I never got to be. If my tongue hadn't been so sharp would I have had other offers? I know I turned one down.

Did Cassandra always understand me? Did I ever say sharp words that hurt her?

I wonder. I can't quite recall all of my time when I was writing my novels. I only know of what I read, but as a woman who now as wit and a pair of fine eyes, I wonder if I will be valued even though I'm not incredibly thin. On the Fourth of July I was mocked because I was the only one of my neighbors to own a bookcase. All night long I heard "Maybe we could say educated things if we bought a bookcase." Also one of my male friends just told me that a woman has to be hot in order to make the relationship last. She has to be thin and wit alone isn't going to make a relationship. His argument was I cared just as much since I wouldn't date Stephen Hawking. Joke's on him. I would date Stephen Hawking. Think of the great conversations you could have!

Maybe I haven't changed so much since Regency times and really maybe men's expectations haven't either.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


In the first place I hope you will live twenty-three years longer. Mr. Tom LeFroy's birthday was yesterday, so that you are very near of an age.

After this necessary preamble I shall proceed to inform you that we had an exceedingly good ball last night, and that I was very much disappointed at not seeing Charles Fowle of the party, as I had previously heard of his being invited. In addition to our set at the Harwood's ball, we had the Grants, St. Johns, Lady Rivers, her three daughters and a son, Mr. and Miss Heathcote, Mrs. Lefevre, Two Miss Ledgers, and a tall clergyman who came with them, whose name Mary would never have guessed.

We were so terrible good as to take James in our carriage, though there were three of us before, but indeed he deserves encouragement for the very great improvement which has lately taken place in his dancing.
This is the beginning of a letter from me to my sister Cassandra. The book Cassandra and Jane makes me think about the letters Cassandra destroyed after I died. Wouldn't people like to know what was in those letters? What would they see? What would they read? What would they interpret?

Would they know more about Tom LeFroy? Would they know the story that starred Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy? Is that really what was between Tom and I? Would they know more about my brief engagement that I broke less than 24 hours after accepting? Would they understand my reasons? Would they mock me? Or even worse, would they pity me? Pity I don't think I could take.

Would my gentle readers (as I steal a line from Bronte) know me better if they had those missing letters? Would they love my characters more or would they see them in a different light? I am very curious, but as I did not want them read by anyone but Cassandra I will keep quiet on the subject.

But gentle reader, I would like to know what you think was in those letters? If you could go back in time and stop Cassandra from burning them, would you? Do you think the world today would want to know what Cassandra and I knew then?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sisterly Bonds

I'm reading a new book: Cassandra and Jane by Jill Pitkeathley. I loved the prologue. It struck me right off. I will be blogging about this book several times in the next week.

I have two sisters and I am not as close to them as Cassandra was to Jane and I often wonder if we were born to a different time if we would be better friends. If we were Regency girls would we have been better companions because all we would have was each other? It's tough to tell.

My one sister would totally be Lady Caroline Lamb. Not that she'd trail after Byron, but she would be very shocking. I was reading a book
about a female spy during World War II and the spy, Betty Pack, left her family and slept with men to get secrets to help the British. I don't think I could do this. I could not sleep around even if it meant I could save thousands of lives and Pack did save thousands of lives. I asked my sister if she could and she said yes without a doubt. She would not be the submissive miss that so many men wanted in a convenient marriage.

My other sister would probably be Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. She would be a great political hostess, but would get involved as well. I also think her marriage and love affairs would be quite tragic. She would, however, have her pet causes that would keep her going.

As for me, well it's a tough call. Obviously I am Jane Austen, but is that who I would be if I were born in Regency times? I think I'd be more likely to be Mary Nisbet. I would do something like save the Elgin Marbles and then I would ruin my marriage by writing letters to a close male friend. I would however rue the day by divorcing my husband and leaving him nothing, but I would lose my children. I would have left a great and controversial legacy though in the Marbles.

So there are my sisters and I if we were born in Regency times. Would we be any closer? Probably not. We'd have our own circles....our own scandals....our own heartaches. But each one of us will have left her mark on the time regardless of whether it was positive or negative. As it stands now we are not on any scandals sheets. One of us is a marketing manager for a whitewater rafting company. One of us is a project manager for an environmental company. One of us is a librarian/event coordinator hoping to start a Ph. D. in library science soon. As different now as we were then.....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

So True

A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.

This is one Jane Austen quotation that has always stuck with me perhaps because it's so true. I know my mind jumps quickly. I meet a man; I think I like him and then I start to imagine. The thing is the imagination is always better than the real thing. Recently I have met several men and thought that maybe something could work out and yet the more I get to know them the less I think of them.

Maybe that's what we learn from Pride & Prejudice. First impressions are rarely accurate. Although in Lizzie and Darcy's case they find each other repulsive and then realize they were wrong. I think that's what I need. I need to Lizzie Darcy first impression instead of the ones that I'm starting with. Ha!

Although I guess I'm in good company. In my formal life I was single and did well for myself although I feel I was lonely then. Perhaps this time around things will turn out better.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Great Lines

As I continue to read Northanger Abbey I am amazed at how many great Jane Austen witticisms that I have always enjoyed belong to this book. It gives me a new appreciation for me. NA really does have this tongue in cheek charm about it that shows that Austen could poke fun at herself and society together.

Earlier this year I met a wonderful future librarian who loves Henry Tilney best out of all of my heroes and suddenly I am understanding why. He is a great person and doesn't have the dark brooding of Mr. Darcy...the hurt of Wentworth with Louisa...the stupidness of Edmund (let's face it, he doesn't appreciate Fanny at first so he is totally stupid)...the scolding of Mr. Knightly. He seems to be perfect from the get-go. And he is, it's his family that needs help. A little like Mr. F. Scott's Fitzgerald's family from Under the Biltmore Clock. The guy is great, but the family is a little nutty. I believe the family in The Diamond as Big as the Ritz was the same way. But enough of F. Scott.

The great thing is how perfectly NA can be rewritten to be reintroduced to today's society. Parts of it fit perfectly with today's society. Granted we can introduce ourselves to people now and don't need to wait for proper introductions, but still the lines could be easily transported to modern times.

Perhaps that's what's so great about me. I can transcend eras. Ha! I guess that makes me a transcendentalist ala Thoreau....although he might be a little tame for me!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fanny Dashwood....Secret Saint

I LOVE Jasper Fforde and he has one of my favorite fan fiction scenes of my work ever. Jurisfiction, or the policing agency that takes care of fictional plots and characters, is based at Norland, the Dashwood home in Sense and Sensibility. The house is huge and not much of the story takes place there. So there is this lovely home with very few inhabitants that lays empty for most of the book. Ergo perfect place for Jurisfiction agents to run in and out of for meetings and such.

In Lost in a Good Book, Thursday Next travels to Norland for her first Jurisfiction meeting and Fanny Dashwood welcomes her to her home. Fanny, who knows Thursday is REAL and not fictional asks how the outside world views Fanny. Fanny claims that she really wanted to keep the Dashwood girls at Norland, but couldn't because the story would never have progressed and thus Colonel Brandon and Marianne would not have gotten together and Edward and Elinor's love would not have been tested and proved so strong.

I LOVE this idea. Not that I think Fanny Dashwood is actually a nice person and would want to keep the Dashwood girls. I love the idea that Fanny would care what the outside world thought of her and that she would try to show she had to kick them out for the good of the story. It's totally how Fanny Dashwood would act if she were real. She'd try to justify her actions. So Fanny blames me, Jane Austen, for making her the bad person. Because it is I who made her kick out the Dashwoods. I resigned Elinor and Marianne and Margaret and Mrs. Dashwood to a small cottage. I also made the story progress. I suppose a fan of Marianne's could argue that had Fanny not kicked them out then Marianne would never have been broken hearted and almost died because she would have never met Willoughby. She could have found a nice man near Norland.

And does Fanny justify hating Lucy Steale because she really wanted Edward and Elinor to get together even though Fanny warns Mrs. Dashwood against a match in the first place? How does Fforde's Fanny justify that? Or if you were Fanny how would you justify warning Mrs. Dashwood that Elinor should stay away from Edward?

For those of you who have not read Fforde, I highly recommend it. If you know your literature you will find great fun in side characters like Heathcliff attending anger management classes and Mrs. Havisham having extreme road rage (of course what woman who always has to wear a huge wedding dress wouldn't have road rage?).

If you could pick one of the villains in my novels and have him justify his or her actions to the public at large (i.e. those of us that are non-fictional) what would he or she say? What would be his or her excuse? Is there ever a time when a villain should be a villain?

Is Fanny secretly a saint because she kept the story going? Or is she too worried about her kind facade that she'll justify anything?

Calgon, Take Me Away!

I remember this commercial from when I was little and I say "who needs Calgon when they can have Captain Wentworth, Mr. Darcy, or Mr. Tilney?" I'm having a bad day at work. So I took my lunch a little early and started reading the favorite parts of my books. The letter in Persuasion. The scene where Darcy proposes to Elizabeth the second time. When Henry Tilney comes to find Catherine after she's been kicked out of Northanger Abbey. No longer do I need a bubble bath, just some time with a Regency hero.

The only thing is that I don't have a real Regency hero of my own. I have no Mr. Darcy or Captain Wentworth or Mr. Tilney in my life. No, I have a dog who adores me, but no man who adores me. All in all that's fine for now. I'd rather find Mr. Right as opposed to Mr. Right Now, but I'll admit that when things get bleak I would like to be able to call someone. Instead I read my Regencies. I read the heroes that have stood the test of time and hope that one day too Mr. Darcy or Captain Wentworth will take me away from the shrillness and loneliness that is my life.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Austen: Steamy?

I was looking for Cliff Notes on Northanger Abbey and while I did not find Cliff Notes or any sort of notes, I found a list describing "Steamy Romantic Suspense Novels". Now I love Austen and while there is some great sexual tension in her books I don't know if I'd describe them as "Steamy". I also laugh at the other books included in the list which are by Jackie Collins, Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown and Kay Hooper. Nothing against these authors, but I don't feel that they're really on the same plane as Jane (me, but Jane rhymed).

Also the thing about NA is although it's suspenseful it's also mocking gothic suspense novels of its time. That's the point. I'm making fun of Mrs. Radcliff and others whose books grabbed the attention of young girls, who would have been ready for the marriage mart at that time and I'm sure there were some young bucks who enjoyed them as well.

Maybe that's why NA isn't as popular as some of Austen's other works. I am rereading it for the first time in a long time and forgot how many great lines came from it. It might become a favorite of mine.

So if I was writing today what type of book would I mock? Would I mock the steamy romances that I supposedly wrote? Or would I mock those conspiracy theory Da Vinci Codesque type books that seem to pop up every where and take place in every time period? Would I go further and mock chick lit...a genre most people agree I created? I have confessed to wanting to write a NA fan fiction book and in it I would mock the Da Vinci Codesque type books. I'd want a little art theft and a little conspiracy theory, but not too much to make it implausible. Besides there wouldn't really be any art theft or conspiracy theory when the book ended because it's all in Catherine's head. It's all from the novels she read.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Immitation is the Best Form of Flattery

Perhaps my head is getting big by pretending to be Jane Austen for five months now. Or maybe it's that I've read so much Jane Austen fan fiction crap that I think I can do better. However I am thinking about writing a Jane Austen fan fiction book based on......NORTHANGER ABBEY!!

Now I haven't read much Northanger Abbey fan fiction. And to be honest it's not one of my favorite Austen novels, but it has so much potential and so many good lines. If a lady does not find adventure in her own village she must seek them abroad. So true and I did this when I studied in Wales. It became one of my favorite quotations.

Have you read any Northanger fan fiction? Do you think that the story could be updated to fit today's society? My idea is to update the story for present day. I don't want to be overconfident, but I think it has potential. Would you read another Jane Austen fan fiction book or has it been done to death?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who Would Jane Be?

I've been watching "Sex and The City" and am wondering if Jane Austen were alive today would I be our Carrie Bradshaw? Now Carrie dresses in a way I would not see me dressing. She also has had a few more gentlemen friends than I would have. But she does have a column talking about mating rituals of today and let's face it a lot of my books focus on those very rituals.

Carry is quite as witty as I am and a little more neurotic, but who knows maybe I would be more neurotic if I lived today instead of during Regency times. Would I go out clubbing? The librarian persona that writes this doesn't and probably wouldn't. I also can't see myself punctuating every book or column with a catch line that ends in a question mark?

Are Big and Carrie sort of like Anne and Wentworth? Taking forever to actually get together. I think not. Wentworth and Anne never really moved on. They did have a wife or an Aiden. They were constant. Could we have that in today's society? I know that it's acceptable to be a woman and single now, but don't people still look at us as "on the shelf"? All the women on Sex and the City find love and get married, except for Samantha and she's really more like a courtesan.

Could I still write about love and be as popular today as I am? I mean wouldn't people wonder how I could write about love and marriage without having experienced it? Besides today's books need a little more skin.

So who would I be if I were alive today?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What's In a Name?

Would a rose by any other name really smell as sweet? I'm not sure, but right now no other name sells as well as Jane Austen.

I had a well known Regency author tell me today that she bought a book because it was called "What Would Jane Austen Do?". An author invoked my name and presto she sells books. Do I have anything to do with the book? Well apparently I am a character in it and a woman from today's times goes back to Regency England and meets me. I'm not quite sure where she meets me. At a house party I believe.

I realize that my alter ego, a librarian who is now working as an event coordinator (trust her, in her master plan it all works) is really writing this and other than being a big fan of mine does not actually have a connection to me. But I'm a little miffed or perhaps she is. People are using my name to sell books and some of the plots are plausible and when they are extensions of my stories sometimes the characters change. I think with a name as famous as mine and characters as well loved as mine people need to be careful where they tread.

I do fear that a hatred will start to arise with all the Jane Austen stuff coming out into print. A hatred for me when the books really have very little to do with me. I think I need to repackage my original books and try marketing them to a new audience. An audience that will see Jane Austen is not a time-traveling, Australia tripping, lust craved lunatic vampire battling zombies.

It's fun to see my work so loved and yet also see it so bastardized for lack of a better term.

Let's go back to the original. The classic. The one and only Jane, who by any other name is really just a knock-off.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cavity Woes

For months now I have had a toothache, but only at certain times. Every time I try to read Rebecca Collins' Pemberley Chronicles I feel a cavity coming on. It's not that it's bad; it's just that it's so nice and sweet, hence the cavity. It's really the first one I am having trouble with. The others seem like they have interesting plot lines, but the first one I just can't get through. Each scene is just more saccharine than the last. My teeth hurt just thinking about it. I want to get on to the other books though. They can't all give me cavities can they? Has anyone read the series? Does it get better? Should I get out now? Please let me know before my dentist buys a boat with money I gave him.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

12 Step Program

I have been receiving updates about books that I might be interested in. Most of them are P & P related.

What's the fuss? Why do we need to know what happens after Darcy and Elizabeth get their happily ever after? Isn't it enough that they have a happily ever after? I know we love Darcy and Elizabeth and we want more. Everyone wants more.

But I'm beginning to think that I just like the way I wrote it. I don't want new information. I don't want to read about the sex life. I don't want to read how Elizabeth can't get pregnant or can't have a son. I don't want to read about tragic illnesses or attempted rapes or anything. I just want a normal life, which I'm sure publishing companies would think that this would not make for good reading or good money, but seriously why does bad stuff have to happen?

I know bad things happen to everyone and life isn't perfect, but there are times when I think just a little too much happens to the Darcys. It's like an episode of some TV show that you know is blowing everything out of proportion. Really? You have four bombs in your hospital in one year and a helicopter crash?

So I might stop my quest to read everything Pride & Prejudice related. I could still read the updates that have the story taking place in modern times, but I might be done with the sequels and then again I might be a big fat liar...I'm an addict and I know I want to stop, but I can't.

Is there a 12 step program I can enter to get over my P & P addiction? Then again I probably don't really want to join anyway....I'd just fall down the steps!

Monday, April 27, 2009

No Entries

Well the contest has been up for a week and no one has entered. So I have this gift to give away and no one to give it to. Sad.

I read that the BBC is making a new Emma. I love the Gwenyth Paltrow Jeremy Northam version. I think it's perfect. But I'm intrigued by the casting. Romola Garai as Emma. Jodhi May as Miss Taylor. Johnny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley. Michael Gambon as Mr. Woodhouse. Romola and Jodhi were in Daneil Deronda together and both were vying for the attentions of Mr. Deronda. So I'm intrigued. Plus Johnny Lee Miller has already been an Austen hero. He played Edmund in the 1990s version of Mansfield Park. He was also in the 1980s version when he was a child. He played one of Fanny's little brothers.

Some of my friends think Jane Austen has been done to death, but I like to see the different versions. Each one offers something new. Some new twist.

I would like to see a new version of The Great Gatsby, but it never lives up to the book. I will say the ballet done in Pittsburgh was beautiful and it lived up to the book.

We'll wait and see what else will happen in Jane Austen casting.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An E-mail I Just Received

I just received this e-mail:

Hi, Jane Austen

We are contacting you because we have seen references about your work online.

We would like to include you in our directory of interviews with creative professionals and artists.

We invite you to take part in this interview. It is free.
You will also be able to include any web links to samples of your work on the internet.

To start the interview just go to this web address and start responding to questions:

Here, you can find some examples from other professionals:

Elsa Wide

Whohub is a directory of interviews with professionals in the fields of communication, arts, technology, and marketing.

Too funny! They think I'm alive!!!

I Repeat! A Pride & Prejudice Contest

And yes! There is a prize!!

So first off, Dan I'm breaking the rules. I'm making more than five posts this week. However since I have already completed 28 posts I feel this will be okay. I am not trying to make up any I am trying to listen to your lectures by only asking my readers to identify 7 quotations a day (Okay, so I'm using the long bit on the whole 5 +/- 2 memory scale).

Here's how the contest works:
You must identify 49 quotations from 7 Pride & Prejudice movies.
E-mail me you answers at (And yes, that really is my e-mail address....obsess much Jane?)
There will be a bonus question.
Only one person will win.
The person with the most correct answers wins.
You will win a copy of the book "The Making of Pride & Prejudice" if you have this I will send you another Jane Austen prize!
I will post 7 quotations at once. E-mail me the seven and then continue as such. You must identify the movie and the year it was made. If you really want to impress me tell me who said it, but that won't count toward the prize. It will definitely count to your own Jane Austen and P & P pride.!

Here are you movie choices:

Pride & Prejudice starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier (1940)
Pride & Prejudice starring David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie (1980)
Pride & Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle (1995)
Bridget Jones's Diary starring Colin Firth and Renee Zellweger (2001)
Pride and Prejudice starring Kam Heskin and Orlando Seale (2003)
Bride and Prejudice starring Aishwarya Rai and Martin Henderson (2004)
Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightly and Matthew MacFayden (2005)

Bonus Question

1. In what version or adaptation does Mr. Darcy lose his pants?

Seventh Set of Seven Quotations

1. "Perhaps we're very lucky we didn't drown any of them at birth, my dear."

2. "You should be stirring your husband's dinner, not trouble."

3. "Let us not say fairwell, but as the French have it au revoir!"

4. "As much as I love being insulted by you; I think you'd be much happier at a table for one."

5. "Lizzy don't sit there. Your nose will peel and your cheeks will burn and Mr .Wickham will not like that."

6. "Though she may well perish with the shame of having such a mother."

7. "Off they run. Weeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Sixth Set of Seven Quotations

1. "I am most seriously displeased."

2. "I find mountains to be very dull. They lack refinement."

3. "I guess your guitar playing can't really compare to your sister's snake dance."

4. "Tricky. Very tricky."

5. "Oh if you want to be really dignified you must be dead."

6. "I can't help thinking that at some point someone is going to produce a piglet and we'll all have to chase it."

7. "Sometimes being alone is my only chance of good company."

Fifth Set of Seven Quotations

1. "Oh, I forgot. Wicky, Papa."

2. "But as Gloria Estefan says the rhythm is gonna get you."

3. "First I must tell you, I've been the most unmitigated and comprehensive ass."

4. "I do not think I can be very sensible."

5. "Elizabeth, we've been commanded to multiply and replenish the earth."

6. "I was sure you could not be so beautiful for nothing."

7. "Ding dong. Maybe this time mom had got it right."

Fourth Set of Seven Quotations

1. "She's been 80 for the past 50 years."

2. "Are you...are you laughing at me?"

3. "Do you know who I am?"

4. "Marry him. Then divorce him right away and then give me half."

5. "Circulate, oozing intelligence."

6. "Lydia, there's perspiration on you nose. Don't get too hot; it's very unladylike."

7. "The first wish of my heart is to never be in the company of Mr. Bingley or Mr. Darcy again."

Third Set of Seven Quotations

1. "Wait a minute. Nice boys don't kiss like that."

2. "Shelves in the closet. Happy thought indeed."

3. "It's against the principles of the Magna Carta."

4. "It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable."

5. "I am sure I wish I smiled more, but at what? Life is so dull."

6. "I'm a good looking, relatively disease free animal."

7. "No life without wife."

Second Set of Seven Quotations

1. "Jane has beauty. Elizabeth has... well. And Mary has intelligence."

2. "You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on."

3. "Pride, let's just say it's contagious and someone in our congregation has a fever."

4. "He may prefer a stupid wife as others have before him."

5. "It looks like you pat the dog with one hand and screw in a light bulb with the other."

6. "If you ask me there isn't enough blue food."

7. "If the dragon returns, St. George will know how to deal with it."

First Set of Seven Quotations

1. "You cannot expect turtle soup until the engagement is announced."

2. "Precisely. As it is I wouldn't dance with him for all of Derbyshire, let alone the miserable half."

3. "Fuck me. I love Keats!"

4. "If Mr. Darcy were not such a quite tall fellow I would not pay him half as much deference."

5. "Do you have something against books?"

6. "Leave. Now."

7. "They have arms and legs enough between them and are three of the silliest girls in England."

A Pride & Prejudice Contest

And yes! There is a prize!!

So first off, Dan I'm breaking the rules. I'm making more than five posts this week. However since I have already completed 28 posts I feel this will be okay. I am not trying to make up any I am trying to listen to your lectures by only asking my readers to identify 7 quotations a day (Okay, so I'm using the long bit on the whole 5 +/- 2 memory scale).

Here's how the contest works:
You must identify 49 quotations from 7 Pride & Prejudice movies.
E-mail me you answers at (And yes, that really is my e-mail address....obsess much Jane?)
There will be a bonus question.
Only one person will win.
The person with the most correct answers wins.
You will win a copy of the book "The Making of Pride & Prejudice" if you have this I will send you another Jane Austen prize!
I will post 7 quotations at once. E-mail me the seven and then continue as such. You must identify the movie and the year it was made. If you really want to impress me tell me who said it, but that won't count toward the prize. It will definitely count to your own Jane Austen and P & P pride.!

Here are you movie choices:

Pride & Prejudice starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier (1940)
Pride & Prejudice starring David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie (1980)
Pride & Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle (1995)
Bridget Jones's Diary starring Colin Firth and Renee Zellweger (2001)
Pride and Prejudice starring Kam Heskin and Orlando Seale (2003)
Bride and Prejudice starring Aishwarya Rai and Martin Henderson (2004)
Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightly and Matthew MacFayden (2005)

Next post will be your first seven quotations and so on and so forth. I hope you enjoy and participate!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Is Your First Pride & Prejudice Movie Automatically Your Favorite?

I'm doing some homework this weekend for my final graded blog post. I am still undecided as to whether or not I will continue once the class is over. I am watching all the Pride & Prejudice movies...all seven of them that can be purchased on DVD that is.

I have sat through the 1940 version and the 1980 version and am now on my favorite version: 1995. I will openly admit that this is the first movie that made me love Jane Austen. When I was a senior in high school I read Mansfield Park and was very disappointed. I thought it was an awful love story. Austen was a thing of the past. Then I watched the BBC/A&E version and fell in love. I wanted to know what happened. I was riveted for five nights. I read TV Guide to see what the next episode would bring. I thought surely the trouble was Lizzy's father died and could not imagine it was Lydia running off with Wickham. It was delightful. The music. The costumes. The actors. I adored it all. While I was studying in Wales I am almost ashamed to admit how many hours I spent watching this film with my two good friends. I will whole heartily admit though that Colin Firth on the big screen is amazing. When he proposes to Lizzy the first time it is almost like he is proposing to you.

When I returned from Wales I contacted my godmother and let her know about my Austen love. She too loves Austen and it is because of her that I am such an avid reader. I raved about the 1995 version and she said I had to watch the 1980 version. David Rintoul was amazing as Darcy and his facial expressions could not be touched. So I spent 4.5 hours watching it with her and could not help but compare it to my first P&P. I found fault with everything. It was not as I wanted it to be.

I have even heard older women say that there was no Darcy like Laurence Olivier, who starred in the 1940 version. Do the youth of today prefer Keira Knightly to Jennifer Ehle? Do they want Matthew McFadyen instead of Colin Firth? Are they bewitched body and soul?

What about those that were introduced to Austen through means that did not keep the book in Regency England? Do some women prefer the Bridget Jones update? Are some women keen on Darcy singing and dancing like he does in Bride & Prejudice, the Indian musical version of P & P? Or do people like the Darcy from Pride & Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy. Do they find that whimsical update to be what they need? I do find that their Mr. Collins is wonderful. Very Mr. Collins like.

So my godmother and I are at an impasse. I love Colin Firth and she David Rintoul. I love Bride & Prejudice, Bridget Jones's Diary and Pride & Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy, but the 2005 version I find fault with. It cannot live up to the 1995 version.

Do you have a favorite version? I am interested to see what Lost in Austen has to bring and that will be available the day before taxes are due. I must buy it and see. Another four hours of my life gone to Austen. I do not miss them though or think that they were not well spent. Regardless of which verison I am watching I enjoy the timelessness of the characters and the costumes (except for the 1940 version). I will always prefer the 1005 version, but five hours is sometimes too long to commit to Austen.

So my 16.5 hour Pride & Prejudice marathon continues. I hope I shall finish it all this weekend, but fear I will not. I can always continue it into the next week. Keep reading to see my final graded will be a contest and if you win, you will get a prize! A Jane Austen prize. So look forward and have your own marathon. I must admit you will need it in order to win.

I am excessively diverted.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Other Blogs That Might Be Helpful

Here are two blogs that might be of some use to readers of this blog:

I am not sure if I will continue this blog once the assignment is over, so I hope these two blogs will help readers keep up on their readings.

Torn Between Two Sets of Sisters

Last year Masterpiece Theatre remade four Jane Austen novels. They did not redo Pride & Prejudice or Emma. I watched the remakes and found them enjoyable. I actually thought I liked the new Sense & Sensibility better than the Emma Thompson Sense & Sensibility for which she won an Oscar. Then a few days ago Emma's S & S was on and I thought "No, I like this one better."

It's a tough decision. I really liked Hattie Morahan as Elinor and I liked Charity Wakefield as Marianne. I also really liked Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet in the same roles. I found both Edwards to be good and like both Colonel Brandons. So I think that each one has its place. I'm not sure which one I would watch if I just wanted to watch Sense & Sensibility. I can see myself picking the Emma version because it is only around two hours while the Hattie version is four hours. That would obviously play a part in my decision. However I watch the four hour 1971 version of Persuasion because it is my favorite and I watch the 5 hour and 1 minute 1995 version of Pride & Prejudice because it is my favorite.

So I guess I am at an impasse. Occasionally I will watch the Emma version and occasionally I will watch the Hattie version. I have not seen the 1981 version of Sense & Sensibility even though I have it on DVD. I wonder if that will throw another wrench in my plans where I like it just as well as the other two.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Truly Tacky

Trust and Triumph is probably one of the most ridiculous books I've ever read. It has a seven-foot detective, an exorcism of a ghost of Pemberley (performed by Mary and Kitty), and a trip to Georgia during the War of 1812. Oh and did I mention the mirrors on the ceilings of Colonel Fitzwilliam's palatial Southern belle plantation? This book, which is touted, by the author, as the BEST Pride & Prejudice sequel available. And you know, it might just be right. It's not really the best out there, I've read better. But for a quick laugh and a "I can't believe this book was published" moment it really is the perfect book. I have given it to some Pride & Prejudice fanatics and they couldn't finish it. They felt that it was so off they just couldn't read it. I think you can't take Pride & Prejudice so seriously. I know I'm sort of contradicting myself because earlier I said I hated to read sex scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth, but you know when it's just ridiculous without the whole sex thing, it can actually be sort of funny. One thing I'd like to know though: why does the detective have to be seven feet tall? And the mirrors? And how did the Darcy's make it to Georgia during the War of 1812? Okay, so there's a lot of things I want to know, but that doesn't mean I didn't laugh.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dear Jane

I've been reading the book "Dear Jane Austen" which has modern day letters to me and I respond in my Regency way. I'm not really sure I like the idea of me being a Dear Abby type character. It's not that I don't want to help my readers, it's just that I don't really have all the experience that I need to really help with today's problems. The first letter is of a woman who wants to get married and feels like she's getting too old. Here's the thing: in my time being a spinster was looked down upon and it also occurred earlier. You were a spinster if you weren't married at 24. Now it's different. Plus I was a spinster and I didn't do so bad. I think it's not good to let women think they have to get married. I know we'd all like to find someone special and have that great Lizzy/Darcy love story, but is that all we as women can really hope for? Isn't there more to life? Yes we should all get the chance to live with our Darcy, but that could happen when we're 24 or when we're 42. There isn't as much of a stigma on being single now as there used to be. I'd love to help with my reader's problems, but the truth is we are no longer in Regency England. Times have changed and we must as well.


I just saw the Greer Garson Lawrence Olivier version of P & P. The costumes are Victorian and Lady Catherine de Bourgh is nice! I'd love to know why the 1930s and 1940s decided to niceify their characters. I love the movie Rebecca and the movie is different from the book. The studio felt that Lawrence Olivier couldn't be a murderer so they changed the book. In this version of P & P Lady Catherine acts mean to see if Lizzy really likes Darcy. Then she goes out into the carriage and laughs with Darcy and says she hopes to visit Lizzy and Darcy at Pemberley soon. Where is the great scene where Lady Catherine cries "Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?!" I love Olivier and so I will watch the movie again, but I cannot feel that it is the best P & P movie out there.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Famous First Lines

It was the best of times it was the worst of times. I was born. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

The first two are Dickens, but the last is mine. I recently came across is in an article about natural gas in Pennsylvania. I thought it strange that my work had worked its way into natural science. In fact I recently made a friendship through this line in a very unexpected area.

So I'd like to hear from you. Tell me how you've seen this famous line used! Post your comment.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Elizabeth and Darcy Sing? Totally Love It!

Several years ago the director of Bend It Like Beckham came out with an Indian musical version of Pride & Prejudice. I LOVE it. The characters still maintain their identities and the store is transported to beautiful India. Plus there's singing and dancing. More than anything this movie made me wish I had a cultural tradition like India does. I know Great Britain (and now the US since that's where I'm residing) has a culture, but Great Britain can be...well a little stuffy and the US has so many cultures in one area sometimes US culture gets lost. This movie makes me want to go to India. Although with the release of Slumdog Millionaire it would seem that not all of India is quite as fun as the movie makes it out to be. Maybe that's what I love about it. It's like my novels. I never really brought up the poverty or problems of the time. It was just about the lives and loves of insignificant people...well insignificant to some, but I would like to think that some of my characters have lived on and had some significance to people. They must, otherwise I wouldn't be so popular.

Mr. Kholi, or Mr. Collins, is perfect. Especially when Elizabeth and her sisters sing a song about how "There's no life without wife". Truly funny stuff. The one thing that bothers me is why does Elizabeth's family fly from India to Los Angeles via London? That seems like going east to go west. Of course Bingley is in London and we need the story to move on, but it just didn't make sense to me.

I highly recommend this movie. I know some people think it's sacrilegious to make P & P a musical, but trust me it's amazing. It almost makes me want to write a Regency English musical of Pride & Prejudice.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Time Traveling Jane Austen

A few years ago I came across a book called "The Man Who Loved Jane Austen". I thought "hmmm.....I don't remember that." So I picked it up. It's a great story. There's a little of my life and little of Pride & Prejudice mixed in. Normally I don't like it when Regency novels have time travel or modern novels have people travel back to Regency times. I realize part of time travel is not knowing your surroundings and making faux pas, but I just don't like it. I haven't really read a good one. If you know of a good Regency Time Travel novel, let me know. This does not mean I'm against all time travel. I happen to love Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog. I also enjoyed I Went to Vassar for This? The Man Who Loved Jane Austen is about a woman who finds my desk at an antique store. She buys it not knowing it's mine and then finds a letter addressed to me and one addressed to Fitzwilliam Darcy. She starts to search to see if there really was a Darcy and receives a reply from Fitzwilliam Darcy that the letter is for him. How can Darcy still be alive today? Surely this is a joke. The story goes to Virginia and a Regency themed ball and a little bit of time travel. This is a really good book. The story is sweet and if you're will to suspend reality for a few hours I think you will really like it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jane Austen Goes Hi Tech

Yesterday I received an Amazon Kindle 2 in the mail. I know that many people are against the e-book and the e-book reader. I must admit I love it. It's not backlit and it's easy to read. I just downloaded my complete works for $4.49. Shockingly low but what a great value. I also got the complete works of Elizabeth Gaskell. I picked up a new book called "Dear Jane Austen" which is a series of Jane Austenesque letters. I have read a few and they are quite charming. I will let you know what other books I find as explore the Kindle 2 store. All I have to say is don't knock the Kindle 2 till you try it. It's a fun technology.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is It All Just a Cinderella Story?

As I'm watching Wives and Daughters I see a little Cinderella involved and as I was thinking about that I saw a little Cinderella in Pride & Prejudice as well. Sense and Sensibility could also be a Cinderella story. So could Jane Eyre and Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park and Persuasion. Emma is not a Cinderella story. However I started to wonder about our famous romances and our favorite fairy tale. A Cinderella story exists in almost every culture. Similar to the flood story that exists in every culture. Do we love the idea of the underdog, the witty girl, the nice girl, the shy girl, the steady girl getting the great guy so much that we read and write it over and over again? A few days ago I spoke of Thomas Hardy. Now here was a man who did not believe in Cinderella. Wuthering Heights and Bronte definitely not a Cinderella. Anna Karenina and Tolstoy not Cinderella. But how many of our great love stories are Cinderella? Sent me a comment and let me know what your favorite love story is and if it is a Cinderella or if it's not.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Edmund Bertram: What a Twit

So I know I wrote Mansfield Park and I know that Austen scholars say that if you are a true Janenite you love Mansfield Park the best, but seriously I can't stand it. Fanny is such a wonderful person the fact that Edmund doesn't love her right away makes me angry. And as you can see, no one voted for him in the poll. I'm not even sure why Fanny decides to take Edmund in the end anyway. I have just received Amanda Grange's Edmund Bertram's Diary and am intrigued to see if I will have warm and fuzzy feelings about Edmund. I like to see what Grange thinks my heros are thinking and I'd like to see if maybe Edmund was just awed by the newness of Mary Crawford and then realizes that he always loved Fanny. I like to think that's how it should be.

Let's quickly discuss the movie adaptations of Mansfield Park. There's the Frances O'Connor version where Fanny is more like a young me than she is her. Plus there's the lesbian sex scene. Suddenly I see NetFlix getting a huge run on this movie. Then there's the one PBS did with Billie Piper. No offense to Billie, I love her in Dr. Who, but she is not Fanny. She's more Victorian prostitute. Again I see NetFlix having a huge run on this movie. It just seems that people need to spice this movie up. They can't leave the plot. Which makes me think, why did I write it in the first place?

I'll let you know if I have warmer feelings toward Edmund, but I feel like I'll still think he's quite the cold fish. Although it is one of my racier books with all the bed hopping. Suddenly I see having a huge run on this book.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shoot Sir Elton John

Okay, so vampires and zombies. I suppose I can get that, but aliens? Now I'm just pissed.

Sir Elton John's movie company is making "Pride & Predator" where the alien predator from the Alien vs. Predator movies will come to Pride & Prejudice. Are you kidding me? This is worse than the Crocodile Rock! This man gave beautiful songs to women like Princess Diana and Marylin Monroe and me, I get an alien abduction?! Did Marylin really give anything to the world? I know she acted and such, but what else did she do? Princess Di was a nice woman, a real humanitarian, but her personal life overshadowed her good deeds. Now me, who hasn't really lived a crazy life, gets aliens?! I created a genre. I made the smart girl in class realize she could be loved for her wit and not just her fine eyes. My books are required reading in school and instead of being an English rose, I'm a bloody alien horror movie.

You know I love to see what people do with my books. I love to see how they love the characters and want to see the story continue. But this is making me sicker than all the sex.

I am incredibly sad and have lost my faith in humanity. Thank you Elton John. I fear I shall no longer refer to you as sir.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thomas Hardy Meets Jane Austen

In recent years Thomas Hardy has been making his way into Jane Austen movie adaptations. My question is why? Hardy is well for lack of a better word: hard. His characters face hardships and poverty is openly seen. Austen is different. Her world is a world of manners and social situations. The Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice has the girls feeding chickens and shows the muck and the mire of Regency England. Jane and Elizabeth even share not only a room, but a bed. The thing is, Mr. Bennet's estate is worth around 2000 pounds a year. This may make him poor because of the entailment and having no sons, but he by no means needs to use his daughters to help run the farm. Plus the actual farm would be away from the main house.

The Kate Beckinsale version of Emma also shows the poverty and the muck and the mire. This is why I prefer the Gwenyth Paltrow version. Besides Jeremy Northam just looks yummy in Regency clothing.

It's not that the movies are bad, it's just that they aren't Jane Austen. In today's world we seem to want reality in our historical dramas. While it's historically accurate that's not the point of Austen's books. They're character studies, not poverty studies. So give me my genteel world.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Good

So lately I've been talking about some of the bad P & P fan fiction. Obviously no one wants to read that, but if you are looking for something to read, here are a few that might help:

"Pemberley Shades" by Dorthea Bonavia-Hunt is probably the best P & P sequel I've read. It was written in 1949 and was almost impossible to find until recently. I first heard about it several years ago and through the magic of interlibrary loan was able to borrow it from the University of Pennsylvania. The bad thing is the book, which was one of the original 1949 printings was missing some pages, so I didn't get to read the whole story. Then one day I found it had been reprinted and was available through There is a problem with the reprint as well: it is riddled with errors. There are typos everywhere, but if you can get over that, then it's a great read. One thing that makes this sequel so great is not overly much happens. There are no rapes or kidnappings. It's like an Austen novel. There's a masquerade, which creates the main part of the story. The characters act like you want them too. There is no, "This isn't really how Elizabeth would act." It's well done and I enjoyed it immensely. If only we could get a decent copy.

The other sequel I really enjoyed was "Conviction" by Skylar Hamilton Burris. This follows Georgiana's path after Elizabeth and Darcy marry. It's a truly beautiful story. There might be a little more politics than Austen would give us; abolitionism takes a major role, but it is really well written. Georgiana becomes engaged and then her fiance leaves and she develops a friendship with another man. Obviously you can see where this goes, but the love story is sweet and the decisions real. I've actually read this book several times and love it each time. It's timeless like P & P. I can read it 100 times and each time wonder what will happen at the end.

Happy reading.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Purple Prose or Making Pride and Prejudice X-Rated

I'd love to know why, oh why, new authors have decided to sex up Pride and Prejudice. I really don't want to read about 'Darcy's quivering member' or 'Elizabeth's swelling bosom.' To me I want what Cristina and Owen Hunt have on "Grey's Anatomy": The Victorian Love Story or be it as it really is: the Regency Love Story. Side-long glances. Hands barely touching. A spoken word. A dance. A look. A kiss on the palm, which was considered quite intimate.

I don't know how much you know about Regency times, but they were quite different as to male/female relations. Single men and women could not correspond. They could not be alone for any length of time. Forget even a chaste kiss or perhaps a quick feel; these, if seen by anyone else, would surely get you engaged with a quick special license wedding sure to make people talk and make you a nine-month wonder. Plus if you danced with a man more than three times in a night you were practically engaged. I shudder to think of the men I would have had to marry because of some junior high dances! Rules had to be obeyed else you faced ostracism. So why have modern day authors taken to sexing up Pride and Prejudice?

The new "Seducing Mr. Darcy" has a little Jasper Fforde ala Eyre Affair about it where a woman who seduces Darcy while dreaming about him in a special massage parlour changes the ending of Pride and Prejudice. Then there's "Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife" and yes I realize they are married, but I still don't want to read about how Lizzie won't take a bath because she doesn't want to 'wash Darcy off her' or how she wants Darcy to make love to her after a rape attempt and Darcy is all 'Honey, I just killed three men; I really can't get it up right now.' It's so not what the whole point is. I realize they have an amazing love and connection and that would leave to an amazing physical connection, but please leave the throbbing bratwurst in your pants and in your brains. Let us use our own imagination instead of spelling it out for us!

Currently I am reading "Affinity and Affection" by Susan Adriani. The opening scene is a lustful dream of Darcy's involving Elizabeth, which then turns into an awful scene where Elizabeth catches Darcy aroused. Now I know that in the 1995 Colin Firth Jennifer Ehle version of Pride and Prejudice, which is the best, I apologize David Rintoul lovers, when Darcy comes across Elizabeth as she's walking to Netherfield the stage directions read "pretend you have an erection", but I don't see that. In fact most people don't even know that's what Darcy is thinking.
Take this section for example: 'An engaging smile overspread his handsome features as he beheld her -- her cheeks aglow from the exertion of her morning exercise. It took less than an instant for his mind to begin contemplating how she might look after having partaken of another form of exercise -- that of writhing beneath him in ecstasy as he plundered her enticing lips and pleasured in her inviting body; claiming her -- no, branding her -- as he so fervently wished to do, forever as his own.' I don't know about you, but don't people normally writhe in agony? Also isn't plundering considered a bad thing? Vikings and Genghis Khan did it and we don't look on them with favoritism. Finally, I have never been branded, but shoving a hot poker on my skin to claim me as yours? That sounds like it hurts! I'm not so sure I'm fond of this.

'The Bingley's and the Darcy's" by Marsha Altman handles it the best. The book takes place after the sisters' marriages and involves a lovely book we know as the Kama Sutra. While this could get very dirty very quickly, it doesn't. It only hints at what happens. The book is actually quite funny and very tongue in cheek. It has a wit that even I admire.

So future writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels I ask of you this: let readers use their imaginations and in no way shape or form let me read about the one-eyed purple-headed yogurt slinging monster of Darcy's or Elizabeth's dewy flower of a woman's pleasure and pain.(Pain because of Eve....even in sex scenes she haunts us. !) Really if I want that I'll get a subscription to Playboy, which I would only read for the articles!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jane Austen and the Undead

It appears that zombies and vampires have come to Jane Austen. The first is "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies". The original P & P with new zombie action scenes. I'm not sure how I feel about this. The book cover says "Ultraviolent" zombie action. Isn't all zombie action ultraviolent? I mean eating someone's brains obviously requires crunching of the skull. Unless you pull an ancient Egyptian and put a hot poker up someone's nose and drag the brains out through the nostrils. Still that sounds like it might hurt....maybe....just a I'm guessing.

It was really only a matter of time until the undead or something dark entered Jane Austen's world. And while I will certainly buy them because let's face it, I buy everything about me. I guess that makes me a megalomaniac or perhaps just very curious as to what impact my books have had on people.

Also coming out is Jane Austen as a vampire struggling with 200 years of writer's block in "Jane Bites Back." Here's the blurb from the NYT:

Liz Scheier at Ballantine won a four-way auction for Michael Thomas Ford's Jane Bites Back, taking world English rights to three books via Mitchell Waters at Curtis Brown. The novel presents an undead Jane Austen, frustrated by nearly 200 years of writer's block and 116 rejections of an unpublished novel she finished just before turning into a vampire; she's becoming increasingly irritated that the rest of the world seems to be getting rich and famous off of her works and her life. The two follow-up books will be derived from the first. Waters said Ford, the author of many books for young readers and adults, is likely to publish this under a pseudonym; pub date still undecided.

All I have to say is "Seriously?! A bidding war between four companies to see me as a vampire?" Also I question this whole not being able to get published again crap. That's one of the reasons I turn to the dark side as a vampire: I can't get published. I don't buy this a bit. I created the entire genre of chick lit. I invented it. Me! Me! Me! And now I can't get published, but people like Lauren Willig can? I'm skeptical of this, but am hoping that since this is a young adult book it might be a way to introduce me to the young while maintaining my hip status ala Twilight. I really think I'm hip enough.

I hope both of these come out soon. I'm sure some of you are dying (hahaha) to see the undead meet Jane.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

LDS Pride & Prejudice?

Recently I rewatched "Pride & Prejudice: A Latter Day Saint Comedy". Yes, there is a Mormon P & P and no, Darcy does not marry all the Bennet sisters. In fact, they aren't sisters at all. Instead they are roommates.

I must admit I did not think I was going to like this version of P & P, but it's wonderful. It's really funny and there are scenes with quotations from the book itself. Collins is hysterical. One of the best scenes is when he is preaching in church about how horrible Elizabeth Bennet is. In her fantasy she throws a book at him. I too, have often thought about throwing a book at my priest (I'm Catholic), but haven't yet. I came close Christmas Eve when he gave a homily about Henry VIII who had eight wives and divorced himself from the Catholic Church so he could marry Catherine of Aragon and ditch Anne Boleyn. For anyone who doesn't see why this is wrong at least wikipedia it. I don't count on wikipedia for much, but I feel their information would be better than my priest's.

The LDS P & P finds unique ways to update the tale and is actually quite humourous. I laughed quite a bit. Givie it a chance. You might end up loving it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Amanda Grange....a woman who thinks like a man: a Regency gentleman

First off let me begin by saying I am concussed; I fell on the ice and hit my head quite hard so if I make any mistakes blame it on the head injury.

I am reading "Darcy's Diary" by Amanda Grange and must admit to loving it. I thought Janet Aylmer's "Darcy's Story" had been my favorite view of P & P from Darcy's perspective. In fact, you can even read "Darcy's Story" as you watch the 1995 Colin Firth Jennifer Ehle P & P and see how well it follows. There's even a seen where Darcy takes Elizabeth's hand and then drops it. His reasons why are in the book. (When Elizabeth is at Lambton and finds out about Lydia). I love Amanda Grange. I have all of her Austen hero diaries and am intrigued to read "Edmund Bertram's Diary" because I hate Edmund and am wondering if I'm going to like him now.

Grange gives life to the perfect hero. He is thoughtful and caring and is everything a woman could want in a Regency man....or any man for that matter. I know I may be old fashioned, but I hate it when other books have Darcy or one of the other men have a mistress or frequent brothels. I know it is not unheard of....I know it is common place and everything, but I like to think Austen's heroes are above that. Grange apparently believes so as well or at least does not let us know about their darker sides.

Grange keeps with the characters. Her next book is "Colonel Brandon's Diary" I will definitely buy it. I wish I had bought "Darcy's Diary" in paperback so all my books would match. The covers of the paperbacks are beautiful and look so nice on a bookshelf together. I will be interested to know if she is going to do an Edward Ferris Diary. This is the one I want to read. He had is engagement to Fanny for so long and then met Elinor. I'd like to see the conflict in his diary. His love for Elinor yet his promise to Fanny. Does anyone know if Grange has plans for this?

I think I'd also like to read the diaries of some of Austen's bad boys. Wouldn't it be interesting to see Willoughby's point of view? What sort of life Mr. Elliot led before he decided he wanted the baronet? What Wickham was thinking when he tried to elope with Georgiana and his thoughts on what he really intended with Lydia? These books might exist, but I have yet to come across them.

I would like to read Amanda Grange's other books. There is a list in front of "Darcy's Diary" that I shall try to find on I do highly recommend any Grange novel. She does her research and creates great characters. I am so glad she has a love of Regency England.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Jane Austen Drinking Game

Okay so watch a Jane Austen film adaptation and every time the hero asks if the heroine's family is well, do a shot! (I often wonder if this is the Regency equivalent of Joey from Friends "How you doin'? It seems like a Regency pick up line to me!) No, not really. I speak of another type of drinking game entirely.

As I am playing Austen I like to get the experience. So when I read that people back then drank port, sherry, and brandy I decided to take a trip to my local liquor store and buy a bottle of each to try it out. The man behind the counter quite laughed at my quest, but was helpful in directing me to what I should purchase. I purchased Hennessy cognac. He advised me to buy the flask. I was glad he did. While I imagine some people who read this will like brandy I believe it is best served in a Brandy Alexander. That is with ice cream and a lot of chocolate. I did not like it at all. So apparently I have a flask of brandy for anyone who is interested.

Next I went on to sherry. I bought Harvey's Bristol Cream and while I was told this was sweeter than normal sherry and not what would have been served in Regency England, I was informed that it was the most drinkable. I actually liked the sherry. I am interested to see what a drier form would taste like. I should mention I live in PA so my liquor purchases are limited because we do not have the variety of some other free flowing states so to speak.

Finally I bought port. There were several bottles available. A lot of gallon jugs, but I went for Cockburn's and I bought the more expensive of the two bottles. The liquor store man did tell me to only drink a little as it was concentrated. I love port. I know that women are not suppose to drink port. That it is a man's drink, but I love it. I completely understand why Emily in "And Only to Deceive" has laid claim to her dead husband's port. I support her and would join her if I could. So now my quest is to find a better port. I would like the name of a good brand of port. Not one that would run me hundreds of dollars, I am afterall with limited funds, but something that would maybe cost between $40-$60. So if anyone has ideas please let me know.

I believe there are some other beverages that were popular as well. Ratafia I have not tried, but have a recipe for....I understand that it is very sweet. I'd be interested if anyone had a recipe not found in the Jane Austen Cookbook.

Pride and Prejudice Revisionism

I see the Pride and Prejudice has become the favorite book of people who read the blog. And why not? It is very enjoyable and has been well done in movie adaptations and is probably the best known. So I would very much like to understand a new trend in Austen fan fiction, which is revisionism. What if P & P went like this? What if Darcy and Elizabeth met like this? What if this happened instead of this? My question: why mess with perfection? But I will look at some of these revisionists and let you know which are a good story and which to stay away from.

Abigail Reynolds has written the most revisionism of P & P. "Impulse and Initiative" "By Force of Instinct" "From Lambton to Longbourn" "The Last Man in the World" and "Without Reserve" are all by Reynolds and are all P & P revisionism. She has another book "Pemberley by the Sea" which is an update and quite enjoyable. Her revisionism on the other hand gets a little boring. I have read all five and the one thing they all have in common is Darcy and Elizabeth end up happily married at the end even though in each one they anticipate their wedding vows (i.e. They have sex before the wedding). After all the Darcy thinks of Wickham I cannot really see him anticipating his vows especially to Elizabeth. Although we are dealing with different circumstances and people who are not our beloved lead characters. Still I like to think I know Darcy and Elizabeth. In one book, Elizabeth almost commits suicide and Darcy admits that he almost did as well. I may not know everything there is to know about Regency England, but I know if Darcy had killed himself Pemberley would have been forfeited to the King as well as the Darcy monies. While suicide is unfortunately common today and did occur, thoughts and feelings on the matter were quite different. I think it sad that Elizabeth should become such a mouse and that the true effect of what would have happened to Georgiana and Pemberley would not be taken into account. Of course this is what happens when modern day people try to write about the past. I know there are some authors who are quite skilled and really research their books and create some truly wonderful pieces of fiction about a time period that I quite enjoy. But I do ask that you do the research and not add modern day sensibilities to something that was not so. So I say read the update with joy and pleasure as for the other five...don't read them back to back. Take some time between them otherwise parts will get stale. You may choose to not even read them at all.

For Christmas I received "Chance Encounters" by Linda Wells. It is revisionism and Darcy and Elizabeth meet in London prior to Darcy knowing anything about the Bennets. He falls for her because she showed him a kindness when most people were after his name and his money. Darcy and Elizabeth do marry although it is not a smooth path and the book follows their married life. It focuses on their early married life, but gives you a glimpse of their later married life. I enjoyed this novel. I felt the characters acted as they should and while it is not as good as the original, it is a good story and I believe you do not lose sight of who Darcy and Elizabeth truly are. There is perhaps a storyline involving Wickham that might be contrived and could be seen as a little silly, but overall the book has merit. The only thing that surprised me the most is how heavy the book is and I don't mean in theme I mean in actual weight. I do believe if you are reading it and you find yourself set upon by someone who claims Bronte is better you could sufficiently defend yourself with the book if need be.

"Pemberley's Promise" by Kara Louise has Darcy and Elizabeth meeting on a ship bound for America. There is also a secret marriage with the end result of an annulment (although it does not happen). Obviously this goes back to our previous post about modern sensibilities. It was very hard to get an annulment and Darcy should not have believed it so easy. Yet there is something about this book that I did really like. I enjoy the battles that Lizzy and Darcy face in the original and the love they find in the end, but for some reason I also like Lizzy and Darcy liking each other from the get go. At least in this version and in "Chance Encounters". Louise has written some other P & P books as well. An update in which Bingley and Jane die quite quickly which brings Darcy and Elizabeth together and a few that deal with the time after P & P. One has a quite strange section where Darcy is determined to start a school for the deaf. While this is very noble I am at a loss as to why Darcy would do this especially since he is newly married. I have read novels where women create schools and some men as well, but I just find this a strange Darcy trait.

I will admit that if you are a die-hard P & P fan you might not want to go out on a limb and read the revisionism. Your favorite book is taken from a completely different perspective and you may be dismayed with the results. I, on the other hand, have read quite a bit of crap and can set aside my love for the original to see what other people think should have happened. I do not know if I will pursue a doctorate in this one day and explore the changes or if I do this because I love Austen, but more than I love Austen (yes, I am wholly admitting to loving myself :) I love how she brings people together. I love how friendships are forged through a love of a similar novel or love of a movie adaptation. (Yes, Kristin, I mean you). I love how people want to make these characters their own. It is as if we all own a bit of Lizzy and a bit of Darcy. How many of us see ourselves as Lizzyesque? Smart, witty, not the typical woman and hope we will win or already have won a Darcy of our own? A man who should be superior to us in station, but loves us for our minds.

I will admit that I will talk about some of the crap I have read in another post. I do ask you to be prepared for a seven-foot detective, an exorcism and a trip to Georgia during the War of 1812. Oh yes and mirrors above the beds; because we all knew Colonel Fitzwilliam had a devious side. But that is for another post. As for today enjoy if you feel you can give it a chance.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Persuasion Fantasy Team

It is Super Bowl Season and this is not lost on me. So while other people make their fantasy teams for football, I'm creating a fantasy team of Persuasion players. This weekend I had the joy of watching the 1971, 1994, and 2007 versions of "Persuasion". I found each one had its own delights and if parts of them were combined they would make the perfect "Persuasion."

The main characters:
  • Anne Elliot: Ann Firbank 1971
  • Captain Wentworth: Bryan Marshall, 1971
  • Sir Walter Elliot: Anthony Head, 2007
  • Elizabeth Elliot: Julia Davis, 2007
  • Lady Russel: Susan Fleetwood, 1994
  • Mrs. Croft: Fiona Shaw, 1994
  • Admiral Croft: John Woodvine, 194
  • Mrs. Musgrove: Judy Cornwell, 1994
  • Mr. Musgrove: Roger Hammond, 1994
  • Charles Musgrove: Simon Russel Beale, 1994
  • Mary Musgrove: Amanda Hale, 2007
  • Henrietta Musgrove: Rosamund Stephen, 2007
  • Louisa Musgrove: Jennifer Higham, 2007
  • Mr. Elliot: Tobias Menzies, 2007
  • Mrs. Clay: Mary Stockley, 2007
  • Mr. Shepard: Michael Fenton Stephens, 2007
  • Mrs. Smith: Helen Schlesinger, 1994
  • Nurse Rook: Jane Wood, 1994
  • Captain Benwick: Paul Chapman, 1971
  • Captain Harville: Michael Carver, 1971

Julian Mitchell, who wrote the 1971 version, would be the writer; however, there are some other scenes I would like added. The 1971 version is already four hours long, what is a few more minutes?
  • I would like the scene of little Charles dislocating his collarbone from the 1994 version.
  • I would also like it if the Mrs. Smith West Indies property storyline would be included. It is not included in any of the versions and I believe it shows what kind of man Captain Wentworth truly is. He barely knows Mrs. Smith, but offers to help her because she is Anne's friend.
  • The scene from the 2007 version where Elizabeth gets angry with Anne for attracting the attention of Mr. Elliot should also be added. Elizabeth had hoped that Mr. Elliot would marry her and the fact that he preferred Anne did create some animosity.
  • In "Captain Wentworth's Diary" Wentworth wonders if he is staying in Anne's room. I think he should and this should be shown in the movie.
  • I enjoyed Anne writing in her diary about her feelings toward Wentworth from the 2007 version. I know Anne does not write in the book, but I thought it was a nice way to get some of her views across. In the 1971 version Anne had some Shakespearesque soliloquies that provided this information. I do think the diary is better.
  • In the 2007 version Captain Wentworth and Captain Harville are walking on the cobb and Harville comments on how Wentworth must be extremely upset to see his betrothed in such a state. Wentworth immediately says he is not betrothed to Louisa. I thought this was an important scene. It lets viewers know what people think will happen and what Wentworth is really feeling.
  • I would also enjoy it if the scene where Captain Wentworth makes a request on behalf of the Admiral from the 2007 version were included. It is not in the published version of "Persuasion", but is a scene that was deleted.
  • I would also like to see the scene from the 1994 version that shows Captain Wentworth being written into the Baronetage.
  • Finally for the end scene and I know it's not in the book, but I truly enjoy it, is the scene from the 1994 version where Anne is aboard ship with Captain Wentworth and they are sailing about. It is a tough decision though because in the 2007 version Captain Wentworth buys Kellynch Hall for Anne, which is also a nice ending.
Does anyone have a preference?

I am torn about costumes. I believe I prefer the 2007 version for the men although I like seeing Captain Wentworth in his uniform in the 1994 version. For the women I can scarcely decide. I don't like what Anne wears in the 2007 version; it seems too worn. I can't even remember what Anne wears in the 1994 version, but I believe it was very plain. I think for the women it would be the dresses from the 1971 version, but perhaps the bonnets of the 2007 version. However, Mrs. Croft, Admiral Croft, and Lady Russel should dress as they did in the 1994 version. I think the hairstyles from the 2007 version although I liked how the 1994 version had Anne's hair change when she went to Bath. Anne does change when she goes to Bath not because she really changes, but because Captain Wentworth's view of her changes. So I'd like to see that change in the all time version of "Persuasion."

For the sets, I think I would go for the 2007 version of the sets. I enjoyed its Kellynch Hall the best and also thought its other choices were nice. It also had beautiful sweeping views of Bath.

I believe that this group of actors would make for the best version of "Persuasion." My one friend belongs to a Regency group through Yahoo and when the 2007 version was released were in an uproar because Wenworth and Anne kiss on a street in Bath in public. This would have never been done in my age. However, in the 1994 version Anne and Wentworth kiss in public on a street in Bath and in the 1971 version Anne and Wentworth kiss at a card party in front of numerous guests. So it appears that after 8 1/2 years of separation no version can keep the two lovers from creating a social faux pas.

If I could only watch one version for the rest of my life it would have to be the 1971 version. Ann Firbank is a perfect Anne, but her hair in the movie is a little more Victorian than Regency; I have discovered though that Anne always has frightful hair. I wonder why. Bryan Marshall is a wonderful Captain Wentworth. He is rugged enough to be a sailor and yet handsome enough to inspire a lasting love. I would have liked to see him in uniform, but only the 1994 version does that. Bryan Marshall looks like a modern day Matthew MacFadyen and we all remember how he bewitched us body and soul. Although I believe no one made a better Mr. Elliot than Tobias Menzies. I enjoyed him immensely in the HBO series Rome and was glad to see he looked just a delicious in Regency garb as he did in a toga.

So this is my Persuasion fantasy team. It may not win the Super Bowl, but it would surely win any Janenite's approval.