Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guest Post on Yet Another Period Drama Blog

 Miss Dashwood of Yet Another Period Drama Blog asked me to guest post for her Jane Austen's Birthday week, and put together a sort of interview for me. If you would like to read it, click here. It is about Jane Austen's romances.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Carol (1984)

A Christmas Carol (1984) with George C. Scott

This post is half short review and half a promotion of sorts for one of my favorite movies, and probably my very favorite Christmas movie.

Almost everyone as heard of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and can associate it with Scrooge, “bah, humbug”, etc.; in fact, it seems like if you ask someone about Charles Dickens, this is the only story they know about.

Most people have seen some movie version or other; whether it’s the Muppet’s version, or that weird new animated one, or a cartoon something-a-rather, or the one with Patrick Stewart; but it seems like no one has seen this gem, and I can’t figure it out, because it is, in my opinion, the best by far.  (Second best would probably be one of the black-and-white versions).
Spirit of Christmas Present and Scrooge

I can’t compare it too accurately to the book since I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but so far it follows the story and gets the important quotes quite right.

It isn’t silly and it isn’t really spooky like some of the others; it’s just right, and although it has its sad moments it all in all maintains that nice Christmassy feeling. Lovely old-fashioned air too, and you know I must be a great advocate for that!

Scrooge with his nephew and niece
Acting: very good; costumes: very good; this is not like an old 80s BBC mini-series (well, because it isn’t one), it is quite well-made.

And the music! The soundtrack is splendid. Those of you who are fans of The Scarlet Pimpernel will be pleased to know that it’s the same composer (Nick Bicât). It has several Christmas carols played and sung on the streets, and the songs composed for the movie are lovely as well! You can listen to the whole soundtrack (and buy it) online here: http://www.nickbicat.com/music/index/?id=20
Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit & some children
A tradition in our family ever since I can remember has been to watch A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve and eat special treats we have once a year. Then the ‘kids’ open one present each, and we sleep in the living room & admire the Christmas tree. Once the afternoon of the 24th arrives, it’s like the realization finally hits that it’s Christmas and I get really excited. ;-)
Needless to say, this is the version we usually choose to watch, and though I used to just take it for granted I’ve learned to love it on my own in the last year or two, and am looking forward to it more than ever this year!

I haven’t recognized many of the actors, but here’s a little piece of trivia: George C. Scott (Scrooge) and Susannah York (Mrs. Cratchit) star together as Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre in Jane Eyre (1970). They are far better suited to their roles in A Christmas Carol, though.


I couldn't find a trailer, but I like the first 20-ish seconds of this video:
And, you can watch the whole movie on YouTube...


What about you? Have any of you seen this version, or any of them? Have you read the book?

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Regency Christmas Carols

As a lover of Christmas music and Jane Austen, I have long wondered which Christmas carols were around in the Regency period. So, I decided to finally research it, and thought I might as well share my discoveries with all of you!
The songs I was looking for were ones that were sung then pretty much the same as they are now; I know for many the words or tunes were already written, but the song wasn’t as it is now, or perhaps not even used as a Christmas song yet.

Christmas wasn’t nearly as important of a holiday then as it is now – or even as it was in the Victorian era. This is one of the reasons why, if I was to choose between the two, I would probably choose the Victorian era to live in.  

There are then very few songs I can mention, but here they are.

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night
This is actually one of my favorite Christmas carols, so I was quite pleased to find out it was so old. It was written around 1700, and the tune in 1728. Researching this was rather tricky; some things say it was published in 1822, but something else said the arrangement appeared 1812. Also, apparently there is another tune other than the one I know; the one I know was taken from something by Handel, so no wonder I like it.

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentleman
This is the Christmas carol sung in Pride and Prejudice (1995), Mary Bennet on the piano and Maria Lucas singing. Also a more melancholy version was the background music in Emma (1996, A&E) when Mr. Elton was leaving Highbury, which Emma observes when she is walking though the village.
All these origins are tricky but it looks like it was definitely around by the late 1700s.


Good Christian Men Rejoice (or "In dulci jubilo)
The words for this song weren't as we know them now until 1853, but the tune dates all the way back to the Middle Ages, and for me it's the tune that's the most memorable. 


So you see, it appears I could find very little. A small study, but a study all the same. 


Further information can be found here: 
http://www.janeausten.co.uk/the-origins-of-regency-era-christmas-carols/


One interesting thing is that the 1996 (Miramax) version of Emma plays a harpsichord Deck the Halls at the Weston's Christmas party, and I don't think it was around at the time.


I have been quite remiss with my Christmas posts; I hope to do better this week.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Birthday card for Miss Austen from Emma

Miss Dashwood's birthday event for Jane Austen is coming to a close. I was quite intrigued by the idea she had (or perhaps it was her sister) of us writing cards to Jane Austen from some of her characters, but I could not think of anything to write. However I knew I must do something, and so at the last minute I did. I have seen a few entries from Emma already, but as I am on the second-to-last chapter in that book right now, I can think of little else.


Hartfield
Tues., 16 December 1817
My dear Miss Austen,
                I fondly wish you the very happiest of birthdays!
                You said that no-one but yourself would much like me. I am sure I deserved this fate, and I am quite willing to believe that you are always right; however, I am led to understand that there are others who might disagree. This is all owing to you, and I cannot express my gratitude in giving me – in giving us all – so happy an ending! or rather, a future; for my happiness has not ended, nor will it.
                What an amiable creature I was! Nay, proud and disagreeable and meddlesome; thinking that I could determine people’s destiny and that I was always right. I am not unwilling to conclude that I was terribly, mortifyingly wrong most of the time; and I made so many horrible blunders that I shall never stop feeling at the very least silly about them (and it will be some time until I can be that indifferent).
                I must apologize for all my interference with your planned outcome for our story, even if I was unaware of it, and I am so thankful that you didn’t get completely irritated with me and give it up! You brought it all very brilliantly about though, I must say; indeed, you put us all from perfect misery to perfect happiness at one point or other.
                I am still trying to deserve my Mr Knightley (and I still will not call him George!), but I have such pleasure in trying to deserve him, and more in his constant companionship, and still more in his faithful devotion, that I cannot express how blessed I feel.
                I shall evermore leave all matters of the heart – romance, love, match-making – quite up to you, because you are most certainly the expert.
                Mr and Mrs Frank Churchill send their regards, and of course my dear Husband and Father; and Miss Bates sends a thousand thanks. (Those were not her words, but I must abridge or this note should quadruple in size.)
                Robert Martin is writing to you himself I believe, on behalf of his wife and himself; Harriet will be asking him not to make his letter too short, I fancy.
                Which reminds me to close. I hope that you find as much happiness for yourself as you have bestowed upon all of us, dear Miss Austen! Happy Birthday!
                                                Yours very respectfully,
                                                Mrs Emma Knightley

I practised my artistry once again for the front of this card. The painting is of myself and Mr Knightley; but I do not think it does him justice.
-E. K.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Elinor and Marianne: the novel

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our dear Miss Austen! In celebration of this significant day, Miss Dashwood from Yet Another Period Drama Blog, to go along with her Jane Austen birthday week, and I have prepared a little something.

It is not a fact, but I have read that we can be reasonably certain Sense and Sensibility (and/or perhaps Pride and Prejudice) were first written in epistolary form - or in letters - like the rest of Jane Austen's earlier works. I was thinking it might be interesting to imagine what Sense and Sensibility would be like written in epistolary form. So, Miss Dashwood and I together have written 4 letters, and I will also mention a few already in the book so you can see easily in what part of the story we are. The letters are from chapter 29, if you want to read the whole of them.

Elinor and Marianne* by Jane Austen, Melody, and Miss Dashwood (Oh, that was fun to write)
*This was the original title

 
LETTER ONE
Marianne to Willoughby
"How surprised you will be, Willoughby, on receiving this; and I think you will feel something more than surprise, when you know that I am in town. ..."

 
LETTER TWO
From the same to the same
"I cannot express my disappointment in having missed you the day before yesterday, nor my astonishment at not having received any answer to a note which I sent you above a week ago. ..."

 LETTER THREE 
Margaret Dashwood to her sisters
Read on Yet Another Period Drama Blog

 LETTER FOUR
Marianne to Willoughby
"What am I to imagine, Willoughby, by your behaviour last night? ... I have passed a wretched night in endeavouring to excuse a conduct which can scarcely be called less than insulting;..."

 LETTER FIVE
Willoughby to Marianne
"My dear madam,
       I have just had the honour of receiving your letter, for which I beg to return my sincere acknowledgments. I am much concerned to find that there was anything in my behaviour last night that did not meet your approbation;..."

 LETTER EIGHT
Mrs Jennings to Mrs Dashwood
My dear Mrs Dashwood,
            Such a monstrous shocking thing has occurred! I barely know how to tell you! But indeed I must, for your dear Elinor is too busy attending to our damsel in distress, and you must not be kept in the dark upon the subject.
            This morning a letter came for Miss Marianne. She ran out of the room directly, and we all knew it must be from Mr. Willoughby. (I can barely write the name! But I must continue.) I thought it was a good joke and said I hoped Miss Marianne would find the letter to her liking. I would not have teased her for the world, had I known. I then spoke to Miss Dashwood of their engagement and hoped he would not keep her waiting much longer, for she has been looking so ill and forlorn, poor girl! Miss Dashwood, bless her, begged me to stop thinking about such things and especially talking about them. She said nothing would surprise her more than to hear that they were to be married. I did not believe her. 
            Well, when I was out today I happened upon Mrs Taylor, who told me the most shocking thing! Mr Willoughby is to be married very soon to a Miss Grey, a young lady with fifty thousand pounds! Good for nothing fellow! I have no patience with him. I would not have believed this story, but that Mrs Taylor had heard it from a friend of Miss Grey herself. ‘Well,’ said I, ‘all I can say is, that if this be true, he has used a young lady of my acquaintance abominably ill, and I wish with all my soul his wife may plague his heart out.’ And so I shall always say, you may depend upon it. I have no notion of men’s going on in this way; and if I ever meet him again, I will give him such a dressing as he has not had this many a day.
            There is one comfort for my dear Miss Marianne: he is not the only young man in the world worth having; and with her pretty face she will never want admirers.
            Alas! Poor thing! She seems to be comforted by nothing. Well, the Parrys and Sandersons are luckily coming tonight, and that will amuse her.
            I must close now; I daresay Miss Dashwood will write you soon enough with the particulars. She does not know that I am writing.
            Do not concern yourself too much, my dear Mrs Dashwood, for we are doing the best for Marianne as can be done, I am sure.
                        Yours &c.,
                      Mrs. S. Jennings

LETTER SEVEN
Elinor to Mrs Dashwood
Berkeley Street, January
My dear Mamma,
            Marianne received your kind letter a little while ago, though I regret to observe that it was quite ill-timed – through no fault of your own – in its assurances of Willoughby’s constancy; however, it prompts and reminds me to write you with the appalling particulars of the last two days.
            Two nights ago Marianne and I accompanied Lady Middleton to a party. Marianne was not in good spirits, as has been the case ever since her initial disappointment by not seeing Willoughby as soon as we arrived in London. It was crowded and hot, and there was nothing to do but to sit down while Lady Middleton was at cards. We had not been there long before I observed none but Willoughby standing within a few yards of us. He caught my eye, but turned immediately back to his companion – a very fashionable looking young woman – after bowing. I was of course taken aback, and looked immediately at Marianne to determine whether she had yet noticed him; at that moment she did. Her whole countenance glowed with a sudden delight, and she would have moved toward him instantly, had I not caught her arm.
            “Good heavens!” she exclaimed, "he is there—he is there—Oh! why does he not look at me? why cannot I speak to him?"
            I begged her to be composed and not betray what she felt to everyone present. I said perhaps he had not observed her yet, though I did not myself believe it.
            To be composed at such a moment was not only beyond the reach of Marianne, it was beyond her wish; an agony of impatience affected her every feature.
            At last he turned round and regarded us both. Marianne started up, pronounced his name affectionately, and held out her hand to him. He approached, and addressing himself rather to myself than Marianne, as if wishing to avoid her eye, and determined not to observe her attitude, inquired in a hurried manner after you, Mamma, and asked how long we had been in town. I was robbed of all presence of mind by such an address, and was unable to say a word. But the feelings of my sister were instantly expressed. Her face was crimsoned over, and she exclaimed, in a voice of the greatest emotion, "Willoughby, what is the meaning of this? Have you not received my letters? Will you not shake hands with me?"
            He could not then avoid it, but her touch seemed painful to him, and he held her hand only for a moment. During all this time he was evidently struggling for composure. His expression became more tranquil. After a moment’s pause, he spoke with calmness.
            “I did myself the honour of calling in Berkeley Street last Tuesday, and very much regretted that I was not fortunate enough to find yourselves and Mrs. Jennings at home.”
            “But have you not received my notes?” cried Marianne in the wildest anxiety. “Here is some mistake. I am sure—some dreadful mistake. What can be the meaning of it? Tell me, Willoughby, for heaven’s sake, tell me what is the matter!”
            All his embarrassment returned, but catching the eye of the young lady with whom he had been previously talking, he said “Yes, I had the pleasure of receiving the information of your arrival in town, which you were so good as to send me” and turned hastily away to rejoin his friend.
            Marianne, dreadfully white, sunk into her chair and I expected at every moment to see her faint. She entreated me to go to him, and tell him that she must speak to him again—that there must be some dreadful misapprehension. I told her it was not the place for explanations.
            Willoughby soon afterwards quitted the room, and we appealed to Lady Middleton to be taken home immediately. She obliged us.
            Before the servants were up the next morning I saw Marianne, only half-dressed, kneeling against one of the window-seats for the sake of all the little light she could command from it, and writing as fast as a continual flow of tears would permit her. She entreated me to ask her nothing, not to speak a word. At breakfast I attempted to distract Mrs. Jennings from noticing Marianne’s state of agitation. Just as breakfast was over, the servant brought in a letter which Marianne snatched up and ran out of the room with. Mrs. Jennings, knowing only in part what was going on, teased about their engagement after Marianne had left the room. I do wish she hadn’t made Marianne’s affairs a subject for gossip.
            I soon followed my sister into our room and found her stretched on the bed, almost choked by grief, one letter in her hand, and two or three others laying by her. I found myself crying too; at first scarcely less violently than Marianne. She put all the letters into my hands and almost screamed with agony. I waited until her excess of suffering had somewhat spent itself, and then turned eagerly to Willoughby’s letter (the others were her own), which I read with every indignation. Though aware, before I began it, that it must bring a confession of his inconstancy, and confirm their separation for ever, I was not aware that such language could be suffered to announce it;  nor could I have supposed Willoughby capable of departing so far from the appearance of ever honourable and delicate feeling—so far from the common decorum of a gentleman, as to send a letter so impudently cruel: a letter which, instead of bringing with his desire of a release any professions of regret, acknowledged no breach of faith, denied all peculiar affection whatever—a letter of which every line was an insult, and which proclaimed its writer to be deep in hardened villainy.  He said his affections had been long engaged elsewhere, and that it would not be long until the engagement was fulfilled.
            You may imagine every degree of grief and suffering and misery, and apply it to Marianne at that moment. I endeavoured to comfort her, begged her to exert herself; to no avail. Some time passed and then Mrs Jennings came back. She had just been talking to an acquaintance who knew about Willoughby’s fiancé. I discovered from Mrs. Jennings last night that she is a woman of great fortune and that Willoughby’s financial situation is ‘all in pieces’ and that her fortune will not ‘come before it’s wanted’.
            To my surprise Marianne came down for dinner last night, even though there was company; she left the room soon afterwards though, and I convinced her to go to bed. She has been so negligent of her health; not eating, not sleeping; I have been concerned for her health. She slept more last night than I expected her to, and ate more at dinner; but I do not know how long it will last.
            And now, dearest Mamma, I must ask you what should be done next. Marianne is desperate to be at home, to be with you; but what of leaving Mrs Jennings so soon? And I cannot determine whether it would be best for Marianne to travel home, or to stay in London. She has agreed to wait until your wishes can be known. Pray write soon with your opinion.
                        Until then, I remain,
                        Your affectionate daughter,
                                    Elinor Dashwood

 
LETTER NINE
Mrs Dashwood to Elinor
Read on Yet Another Period Drama Blog

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jane Austen Birthday Week questions

Yet Another Period Drama Blog


1 - What was the first JA novel you ever read, and who introduced you to it?
Pride and Prejudice, and I introduced myself to it after watching a few Jane Austen films, which my older sister originally introduced. I knew that, of course, the books must be even better than the movies!

2 - Which is your least favorite JA novel, and why?  (Everybody posts about their favorites... I want to know what's at the bottom of your list!)
My least favorite?! Oh no, you cannot ask me that, I protest! I love them all so dearly, that to pick a least favorite is a near impossibility! But….*sigh*…on the bottom of my favorites list (as far as the main 6 novels go), is probably Mansfield Park at the moment, even though I really love it (and especially dear Fanny Price), just because I like lighter stories better.
Shows you how much I like Jane Austen, when I like my least favorite so well!

3 - Who do you think is the funniest character JA ever created?
Do you know, that is an immensely hard question to answer. Mr Bennet comes to mind as one of my favorites though; he can be extremely amusing at the same time as likeable, unlike some of the other funny characters.

4 - Which JA villain[ess] do you love to hate?
Henry Crawford. Mind, I don’t like him one little bit, I quite despise him. But it is rather interesting to talk about how much I despise him. Sometimes I just spontaneously burst out with “Ooh, I hate Henry Crawford!”

5 - What's your favorite JA quote?
Probably this one:
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
(~Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey)

6 - If you were to "start" someone on JA, which book would you recommend to them first and why?
Actually, it depends entirely on the person. Some, I might actually recommend a movie if they’re not the bookish type; also it depends on what sort of thing they usually like.
In general, though, probably Pride and Prejudice. It’s the best-loved, and I think, the lightest and most eventful story; also the easiest to read, in my opinion.

7 - What is your absolute favorite JA film adaptation and why?
Pride and Prejudice 1995, BBC/A&E (followed very closely by Emma 2009, BBC).
P&P is my favorite movie! Unlike some people, I celebrate the fact that it is 5 hours long, because then it can begin to do justice to the story, and provides all the more to enjoy! It has very good acting, and feels nice and old-fashioned, not that modern feeling some have, and very close to the book. My favorite part of the movie is the visit to Pemberley; and my favorite scene is the one that starts with Lizzy playing the piano and singing, at Pemberley. That scene makes me feel happy; so does the ending. When the movie is over I usually sit there with a silly smile on my face for a few moments. I like the soundtrack, too.

8 - If you could authorize a new film adaptation of one of JA's novels, which would it be and why?
Mansfield Park. There are simply no movies that do it justice, which is why I think it’s one of the lesser-loved. Furthermore, I would write the script with Miss Laurie, and play Fanny myself. ;-)
However, I should also dearly love to see a movie of Sanditon or The Watsons (Jane Austen’s unfinished novels – finished, of course).

9 - Which JA character do you most identify with?
Marianne Dashwood. I also sometimes identify with Fanny Price and Catherine Morland, and I took on Elizabeth Bennet’s way of being amused by things. It can be quite useful in an uncomfortable situation.

10 - If you could have lunch with JA today, what question would you most like to ask her?
One question?! This is cruel! Well, undoubtedly, I would ask her about her mysterious seaside romance; if it was true that this gentleman was the ‘only man she really loved’, what his name was, and the story in general. Then I’d write a book about it.
There are lots of other things I would dearly like to ask her, though. For one thing, I would love to ask about the original versions of Sense and Sensibility {Elinor and Marianne} (was it epistolary?), Pride and Prejudice {First Impressions}, and Northanger Abbey {Susan}.

11 - Is there any one thing that you think could have been improved upon in one (or all) of JA's books?  What is it and why?
Yes, sadly, I do think so. I think there should have been proposal scenes included in Sense and Sensibility (and more conversations between the heroines and heroes in general), Northanger Abbey, and Mansfield Park.

12 - If you could have lunch with one of JA's characters today, who would it be and why?
This is incredibly difficult, but perhaps Henry Tilney. Hopefully I could find out all about his sister and her romance which was very vague in the book, and he would amuse me greatly at the same time.

13 - (optional) Why is Miss Dashwood so fond of asking "why"?
Either because she doesn’t want little two-word answers or because she just wants to know.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Giveaway WINNERS!


Winners for Old-fashioned Fiddle and Guitar Christmas music:

1st place (complete album):
Miss Laurie!! I will email the songs to you as soon as I can. 

2nd place (2/3 album):
Abby!! Please choose 12 songs from the list below and I will email them to you!

3rd place (1/3 album):
Anne-girl! Go ahead and choose 6 songs from the list below and I will email them to you, too!

Here is the list of songs: (and don't forget you can listen to 6 samples on the CD's main page)
Joy to the World
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
I Saw Three Ships
The First Noel
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Silent Night
Good King Wenceslas
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night
Deck the Halls
Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming
Jingle Bells
Away in a Manger
O Holy Night
Good Christian Men Rejoice
In the Bleak Midwinter
Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day
Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella
Here We Come a Wassailing


THANKS everyone who entered, and congratulations winners!

Remember, the CD is still available to purchase! It makes great Christmas presents! ;-)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

LAST CHANCE to enter giveaway!!!

Christmas Music Giveaway


Giveaway for Old-fashioned Fiddle and Guitar Christmas music ends on December 10th! If you haven't already entered, it's very easy to do so! Click on the picture above to go to the post.

If you comment before I check on December 11th (and it won't be very early) your entry/entries will count.

Also, if you have entered, you can still get 5 more entries by posting about the giveaway! No need for extravagance. ;-) Short posts are fine.

I'm looking forward to this! Thanks to everyone who's participating!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Blog Event: Jane Austen's Birthday

Usually, blog events are so well posted about in this blogging sphere that it is not at all necessary that I take part in spreading the news myself; although I do do it sometimes just for fun. In this case, however, it is quite possible that I will be helping with it, so I have a particular interest in the matter.


Yet Another Period Drama Blog

It's Jane Austen's birthday celebration at Yet Another Period Drama Blog, authored by my dear blogging friend Miss Dashwood! 

Yet Another Period Drama Blog
Another thing...when I post about blog events, I usually can't help
including more than one banner...
It will be a week filled with fun quizzes, games, and posts about Jane Austen. Also, there are 3 challenges which you can begin right now! Head over to her blog (this link will take you to the post) and take a look!

So join in the festivities celebrating the birth of our dear author and--may I say friend?--Jane Austen!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

(Book review) Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure

Author: Emma Campbell Webster
(Note: this book has absolutely nothing to do with the movie Lost in Austen.)

“Your name: Elizabeth Bennet. Your mission: to marry both prudently and for love, avoiding family scandal. Equipped with only your sharp wit, natural good sense, and tolerable beauty, you must navigate your way through a variety of decisions that will determine your own romantic (and financial) fate. Ever wonder what would happen if Elizabeth accepted Mr Darcy’s proposal the first time around? Or ran from his arms into those of Persuasion’s Captain Wentworth? Now is your chance to find out.”
-back cover

This is a really fun book. (Don’t let the rather odd front cover mislead you.) I first heard about it from a friend who picked it up at a yard sale. Knowing how much I like Jane Austen, she said she’d let me borrow it, but I found it at the library anyways.

This book almost reminds me of a computer game. You start out in Pride and Prejudice, then depending on what decisions you make, you turn the pages for different results. You can get caught up with characters in other Jane Austen novels, as well as a little bit of the author’s own life. If you continue on (neither failing the mission or marrying), you get back to Pride and Prejudice and can sort of weave in and out. During the whole thing, you keep a list of Accomplishments, Failings, and Connections, as well as keeping a score for Fortune, Intelligence, and Confidence.

I was so excited when I first got this book! It was so much fun living at Longbourn, dancing with Mr. Darcy, taking a trip to Bath with my sister Jane instead of her going to London with Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner; there meeting Henry and Eleanor Tilney, and taking a trip to Northanger Abbey. (A heads-up though – it’s actually not possible to marry Mr. Tilney [I know, I know…] and you just end up deducting a lot of Intelligence and Confidence points. The detour was fun, nonetheless.) I ended up going into Emma, and having been proposed to by Mr. Knightley—well, how could I refuse him?—and I hadn’t seen Pemberley yet, so I wouldn’t have yet been in love with Mr. Darcy, and didn’t know he still card for me… so I married Mr. Knightley. The book didn’t exactly describe the ‘perfectly happy evermore’ that I would have liked, but I can draw my own conclusions.

So, here were my lists and scores at the end of my mission the first time around:
Accomplishments
Love of Walking
Speaks Fluent French
Screen-covering skills
Highly Observant
Reasonable Piano-Playing Skills
Once Spent the Day at Weston-super-Mare
Ability to Feign Interest in the Utterly Boring

Failings
Resentful
Love of Walking
No Style, Taste, or Beauty
Insufficient Knowledge of Dancing
Incredibly Nosy
Blind Partiality
Willful Prejudice
Poorly Timed Liveliness
Ill-timed Sense of Humour
Deplorable Weakness for Gothic Literature
No Governess
All 5 Sisters Out at Once
Breathtakingly Poor Judge of Character
Blind, Partial, and Prejudiced, and Absurd
Lack of Influence
Reprehensively Remiss in Duties to Those Less Fortunate
Jealousy
Shameless Vanity

Connections
Inferior
Mr. Collins
Mother
Mary Bennet
Father
Charlotte Lucas
Mr. Wickham

Superior
Charlotte Lucas
Distant Cousin in Grosvenor Street
Mr. Wickham
Father
The Tilneys

Fortune
Starting: 50
Highest: 200
Lowest: -100 (or 0, depending on how you play)
Ending: 200

Intelligence
Starting: 200
Highest: 210
Lowest: -180 (or 0)
Ending: 0

Confidence
Starting: 200
Highest: 350
Lowest: 0
Ending: 270

And now, some words of wisdom.
It is not usually a good thing, actually, to have a high Intelligence score.
It’s pretty easy to fail your mission, so you may want to write page numbers down so you can go back easily.
If you make any decision significantly unlike what the heroine did in the book, you will end up failing and something extremely unlikely, out of character, or just plain weird will happen. (Like if you marry Mr. Collins, accept Mr. Darcy’s proposal for the first time, decide not to take Mr. Darcy’s letter, or even if you wait for Miss Tilney to inspect Mrs. Tilney’s room – that one is especially strange.)
I’ve noticed that all the stories are included in some form, but I so far I’ve only noticed the following heroes actually available to marry: Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley, Capt. Wentworth, and Col. Brandon.

I am currently still in my second time around. My goal this time is to get as many proposals and weave into as many stories as possible (except for Emma since that’s where I ended last time, and I just couldn’t bear to break Mr. Knightley’s heart) but end up marrying Mr. Darcy.

The newer version of this book is called Being Elizabeth Bennet: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure (pictured on the left).

I recommend this book to Janeites as a charming diversion. Let me know if you read it, and who you marry! 
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