Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James was a happy find for me. I accidentally came across it at the library, and of course the name “Jane Austen” projected on the beautiful cover caught my eye.

The story is mainly about the man who Cassandra (Jane’s sister) referred to as “the only man Jane ever truly loved”. As has been passed on, this nameless gentleman and Jane met at the seaside, they were planning to see each other again, but then she received news of his death. Well, this story does not follow the latter part - he stays quite alive in this novel. (And it is quite the heart-wrenching story.)

It is written in first person, past tense - because it is, in fact, supposed to be something Jane Austen actually wrote (hence the title.) In the book we imagine that it was found in a trunk hidden in Chawton Cottage, Jane Austen’s residence during her last and most productive years.

In the book the authoress imagines that Jane Austen took ideas from her own experiences and put them in her books; people, and occurrences. Some things you will recognize as similarities to Pride and Prejudice (one of them being a Mr. Collins character), and more occurences that will remind you of Sense and Sensibility (which she was writing at the time this story was supposed to take place.) Personally, I like to think that all of Jane Austen’s ideas came straight from her imagination, but it's fun to read anyways.

The authoress did extensive research about Jane Austen and the time era, and it shows in the book. I do not think it sounds like Jane Austen’s writing, but I doubt anybody could achieve that. One inconsistent thing is that, I never notice Miss Austen describing what people are wearing, and it occurs several times in this book. Syrie James also describes people’s looks, which Jane Austen did only occasionally (like with Harriet Smith). I like to get a picture of how people appear, though. Now, compared to the narrative in Just Jane, I’d say this book sounds a lot like Jane Austen. ;-)

There were some things in there which I doubt Jane Austen would say/do, but nothing so drastic as to make me very mad. ;-)

There’s plenty of interesting and useful information in the back, and Jane Austen quotes (which I always like quite well.) It was an enjoyable book, and I would recommend it to other people who like Jane Austen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hero Tournament and Little Things about Jane Austen People Get Wrong

Hello everybody! Elegance of Fashion will be hosting a Period Drama Hero Tournament, after the marked success of the Heroine Tournament! I am looking forward to it.

Speaking of which, there's a Elizabeth Gaskell hero poll on my sidebar.

There are a couple things I notice again and again that have to do with Jane Austen that people are a little mistaken about. Just little things that are of small matter. For instance, it is:
Lizzy Bennet
Lizzie Bennett
It is Lizzy with a ‘y’, and there is one ‘t’ in Bennet. This is a mistake people often make; I used to spell it Lizzie too, until I read the book.

The BBC/A&E Pride and Prejudice mini-series with Jennifer Ehle is NOT 6 hours long. Many people say it is 6 hours long, it is not. It has 6 episodes. It is 5 hours long. ;-) It says the run-time is 300 minutes, right? 300 divided by 60 is 5. I’ve even timed myself watching it before, and it’s 5 hours. Hehe.

A pet peeve I have is when people spell the author’s name Jane Austin. It is with an ‘e’. And I’m glad because I like the way Austen looks better than the way Austin looks.

One more thing - often on the back covers of Jane Austen books or movies, they refer to “18th century”. But it is not the 18th century, it is the 19th century! They probably say it because it’s early in the 1800s, but it still is not the 1700s. ;-)

Very odd post, I know.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My China Collection

Ever since I can remember, I've loved old-fashioned things. I liked going to tea parties as a little girl, and it is still fun to send nice invitations, put on an old-fashioned dress, and have an elegant tea party (with real tea now). I think pretty tea things increase the enjoyment and atmosphere. In Regency and Victorian England tea was popular, as we all know. When I watch old-fashioned movies, I love looking at the tea sets and table settings. Teacups and teapots are so fun to collect, and admire at antique or second-hand stores. In this interval between Jane Austen stories, I thought I'd show my readers my collection of china. =) "I have not seen such table settings even in the granduers of Harley Street," one of my friends quoted from North and South after one of my parties. Hope you enjoy it, too!

I'll start out with my teapot. My mom gave it
to me two Christmases ago.

I'm putting two at a time so hopefully the post
won't be too long. =)
The one on the right is probably my favorite. in fact...

Here is a picture all its own, so you can see
the little details better. =) This is from my brother,
and I got it the same Christmas as my teapot.

The one on the right I got from a tea party
when I was about 6.

My mom also has a lovely collection,
and here are two of my favorites from hers.

This doesn't really have to do with tea,
but here is a cute pitcher one of my
sisters gave me for a gift once.

What do you like to collect? Do you like having tea with friends, too?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Literary Heroine Quiz

It's been two weeks since the poll about who should be in my possibe quiz. Here are the results:

Name                                        Votes
Amy Dorrit                                7
Anne Elliot                                 4
Anne Shirley                             12
Catherine Morland                   4
Elinor Dashwood                       7
Elizabeth Bennet                       8
Emma Woodhouse                    8
Esther Summerson                   2
Fanny Price                               3
Jane Eyre                                  10
Jo March                                   10
Margaret Hale                          9
Marianne Dashwood                9
Molly Gibson                             4

So, the people in the quiz will be: Anne Shirley, Jane Eyre, Jo March, Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse, Margaret Hale, Marianne Dashwood, and either Elinor Dashwood or Amy Dorrit. I'm leaning more towards Elinor...especially since Marianne's in there! But a Charles Dickens character would be nice. What do you think?
Elinor Dashwood or Amy Dorrit in quiz?
Amy Dorrit (Little Dorrit)
Elinor Daswhood (Sense and Sensibility) free polls

So, in order to have a good knowledge of these characters, before I make the quiz I have to read:
Anne of Windy Poplars (I've read the first 3, but I'd need to get re-aquainted with the Anne from the books)
Jane Eyre
Little Women
North & South
and I'm currently reading Emma

I am quite ashamed of having not read some of those. I plan to, but I'm afraid I am a rather slow reader!
If Amy Dorrit is chosen, I'm afraid I'm not going to attempt Little Dorrit any time soon, it is very long. So it will just be Amy from the movie and maybe a little I pick up from poking around in the book.
So you see, I won't be able to write the quiz soon, but it will be in the back of my head. I might be able to do a quiz for Sense and Sensibility or Emma characters, though.

5-11: Quizzes I've already written are:
Which Lady From Emma Are You Most Like?
Which Pride and Prejudice Miss Are You Most Like?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sense and Sensibility Quotes

Here are some quotes from Sense and Sensibility! This concludes my Sense and Sensibility focus; unfortunately I will not be able to start on my next Jane Austen book right away. Hope you enjoy them!

“Mama, the more I know of the world, the more I am convinced I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!” ~Marianne

“Is there any felicity in the world superior to this?” ~Marianne

“I confess that while I am at Barton Park, I never think of tame and quiet children with any abhorrence.” ~Elinor

“Esteem him! Like him! Cold-hearted Elinor! Oh! Worse than cold-hearted! Ashamed of being otherwise. Use those words again, and I will leave the room this moment.” ~Marianne

“Well, said I, all I can say is, if this be true, he has used a young lady of my acquaintance abominably ill, and I wish with all my soul his wife my plague his heart out.” ~Mrs. Jennings

“…Marianne, who had the knack of finding her way in every house to the library, however it might be avoided by the family in general, soon procured herself a book.”

“I love to be reminded of the past, Edward - whether it be melancholy or gay, I love to recall it - and you will never offend me by talking of former times.” ~Marianne

“Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of a rational opposition.” (Speaking of Robert Ferrars)

From movie (Which are probably not as funny if you haven't seen it...)
“If you cannot think of anything appropriate to say, you will pleas restrict your remarks to the weather.” ~Mrs. Dashwood

“It’s going to rain.”
“It is not going to rain.”
“You always say that and then it always does!”
~Margaret and Marianne

“I like Mrs. Jennings. She talks about things. We never talk about things.” ~Margaret

“I meant something less mournful, dearest.” ~Elinor

“I will think of something to tempt her. Does she care for olives?” ~Mrs. Jennings

“Do you love him?”
“I do not attempt to deny that I think very highly of him…that I - greatly - esteem him. I like him.”
“Esteem him? Like him?! Use those insipid words again and I shall leave the room this instant!”

~Marianne and Elinor

“Lucy, if she tells you aught of the famous Mr. F., you must pass it on!” ~Mrs. Jennings

Poll Results

The 'back in time' poll is closed! Thanks to all who voted. The question said:
"You're 20 years old and you can go back in time, 50 years minimum. The location and whether you stay or just visit is up to you. What time era would you choose?"

And the winner is:
1820-1859 with 4 votes.

With two votes each was:



And lastly, we have the only I voted for:

My favorite time era is very late 1800s, like 1890s or around there.

Which one did you vote for? What is your favorite time era within the time eras I put?

Here are the results for another poll, "Which of Jane Austen's 'other' writings would you most like to see made into a movie?"

The results:
Sanditon (2 votes)
The Watsons (1 vote)
Lady Susan (1 vote)
One of the epistolary novels of her youth (1 vote)

I'd most like to see The Watsons or Sanditon. Finished, of course. I voted for The Watsons, because I have read some of it and could really picture it as a movie. I haven't read Sanditon yet, so I might end up prefering that.

New poll on the sidebar...


Would you rather hear the story...

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