Jane Austen, famous for her books
Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility (to name a few),
and fellow English writer, Charlotte Bronte, known for having penned the
classics Jane Eyre, Villette among
others, belong to the elite of great female writers of all time. However, they have more than just that in
A Century Apart
Jane Austen was born in the
Georgian era,on 16 December, 1775, while Charlotte Bronte was a Victorian, born
eighty years later, on 21 April, 1855.
While they lived a century apart, both were born at a time when women
had few rights. If they were not married, they depended on their fathers or
brothers to support them financially. They
lived in an age in which middle class women were only accepted to work as
companions or as governesses. Jane
Austen and Charlotte Bronte both defied their time – they wrote, got published
and later on were recognized for their genius.
Thank you, Maria Grazia, for inviting me to
post on your blog. It is always a pleasure.
My latest release, Darcy Goes to War, has
been out for about two weeks, and there are two questions that keep popping up:
why World War II as a setting and do Darcy and Elizabeth fit into that time
Let’s start with Darcy and Elizabeth. One
of the reasons we love these characters so much is because they have traits
that are admirable. For Elizabeth, because of a lack of planning on her
father’s part, she will inherit a paltry annuity. There is also an entail on
the Bennet estate. This is a very serious situation. At the time of their
father’s death, it is possible that the Bennet daughters and their mother will
be asked to leave Longbourn, and it will not be Mr. Collins’s problem to find
them a place to live. Despite her predicament, Elizabeth refuses Mr. Darcy’s
first offer of marriage. At this point in the novel, Mr. Darcy, although rich
and of a superior rank and someone who would solve most of her problems, is not
worthy of Elizabeth’s love. Saying “no” to Mr. Darcy took guts.
And what of Mr. Darcy? Our first encounter
with the gentleman at the Meryton assembly exposes a man who exhibits a
“selfish disdain for the feelings of others.” There is only marginal improvement
in his behavior at Rosings, but he blows that all to heck with his obnoxious
marriage proposal. It is only when we see Mr. Darcy through the eyes of others:
a good friend, a devoted sister, a loyal servant, do we catch a glimpse of the goodness
of the gentleman from Derbyshire. But in my mind, it is Darcy’s response to
Lydia’s situation that reveals the most about our hero. He didn’t have to
intervene. It must have been painful for him to interact with George Wickham, a
man who tried to elope with his fifteen-year-old sister. Despite the
unpleasantness of dealing with the morally bankrupt Wickham, Darcy rescues
Lydia. Why? He does it primarily because he loves Elizabeth, but he also does
it because it is the right thing to do.
Why would a modern woman want to find a man who,
at first glance, appears to be both arrogant and aloof, not to mention
condescending? Only after knowing him
for more than a year did Elizabeth Bennet discover the “real” Mister Darcy
under the cold and intimidating mask he showed to society. Dear Reader, if you
finished the book, you know that Mister Darcy’s true nature made him the good husband
material that Mrs. Bennet hoped to find for all of her daughters. In short, he
“had much to recommend him”. (If you
didn’t finish “Pride and Prejudice”, you will find a short summary of it at the
end “Finding Mister Darcy”.
Jane Austen’s works are almost two hundred years
old. Although the clothing and language
are changed, her advice still rings true.
And her works are still serving as the basis for countless new novels
and movies. It seems human nature and
the workings of society remain the same no matter how much their appearance
My friend Monica Cardinale, Italian but living in Amsterdam, was lucky enough to be in Bath for the Festival. She accepted to share her shots with all of us here at My Jane Austen Book Club. Thanks a lot, Monica! Hello everyone! I visited Bath for the first time last weekend and was so lucky to be able to experience the Jane Austen Festival atmosphere in town: the people gathering in Queen Square before the start of the Regency Costume Promenade, the activities at the Guildhall (where the Festival Fayre was held) and Regency "appearances" throughout the town.
Here are some pictures that hopefully will give you a feel of this very special event.
Thanks a lot everyone for the great interest shown in this lovely book and to Jane Odiwe for being again an exquisite guest here at My Jane Austen Book Club! Ready to discover the name of the winner I picked up via random.org?
If you haven't read about it yet , click the link below and go! They've discovered Jane Austen is very good for our brain... Who doubted that? None of us Janeites, of course. Only now there's scientific evidence!
I have been invited by the lovely and charming
Miss Grazia to share a few words with you, her ardent followers, and I must
confess I find myself honored and perhaps even a bit humbled by the task.
Certainly it’s a bit different from when I was
penning my memoirs,
as I had good reason to suspect that due to the scandalous material to be found
within those pages, they should not see the light of day for many a long year.
In this case, I am obliged to suspect that
hundreds of lovely eyes shall be scanning this page in short order, so I shall
endeavour not to disappoint.
But whatever shall I write about?
Having been given no particular task by our
delightful hostess, I shall venture, perhaps, to write about the role of the
scoundrel in polite society.
“Come, come, Mister Impudence,” I can hear all of
the Mrs Jennings in the audience begin to chide us (oh, yes, my friend
Willoughby did acquaint me with the activities of that meddlesome old harridan,
and I’ve known many more of her sort in my day) “polite society has no place
for rakes, rogues, and ramblers!”
2012 was a feast for any fan of Austen-inspired fiction and non-fiction. Lots of new books were released and I've been able to read and enjoy many of them as well as to interview or feature their talented authors here at My Jane Austen Book Club. My bookshelf labelled Austenesque is crammed with review copies and lovely paperbacks. Would you like to get one? I'm ready to give away one book at your choice among the ones below. Read my quick reviews and choose the book you like best among Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight, His Good Opinion by Nancy Kelley and All Roads Lead To Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith. Then leave your comment adding your e-mail address. Spread the word through twitter or facebook, your blog or site! This contest is open worldwide and ends at the end of the month, September 30th.
HIS GOOD OPINION BY NANCY KELLEY Though tired of Society's manipulations, Darcy never thought to be enchanted by a country maiden. However, on a visit to rural Hertfordshire, Elizabeth Bennet captivates him. Lovely and vivacious, she is everything he is not and everything he longs to have. Unfortunately, her connections put her decidedly beneath him, and the improprieties he observes in her family do not win his favour. Putting her firmly out of his mind, Darcy returns to London, but Elizabeth is not so easily forgotten.
After reading Searching for Captain Wentworth, her Persuasion based just released novel I had some questions for Jane Odiwe. She gladly accepted to answer and even granted you readers of My Jane Austen Book Club a signed paperback copy of the book. Leave your comment + your e-mail address, where we can contact you in order to be entered in the giveaway contest. It's open internationally and ends on 21st September.
Hello Jane and welcome back to My Jane Austen Book Club. I’ve just finished reading your new Searching For Captain Wentworth and I’ve got some questions for you.
First of all, congratulations on another delightful Austen-inspired
novel. I loved reading it. Then, to my
first question: are you still searching for your Captain Wentworth?
No, I’m very lucky - I met my Captain
Wentworth when I was 17 - there were a few obstacles in our way at first, but
we overcame them and have been happily married for many years!
If you had to choose between Captain Wentworth
and Mr Darcy?
Captain Wentworth every time! What’s not to
love? He’s a man in uniform, a self-made man and writes an amazing love letter!
Mr Darcy can be a bit of a stuffed shirt, though I love the way he realises his
Janeites. I would like to thank Maria Grazia for graciously inviting me to
guest post on her wonderful Jane Austen dedicated blog.
many Austen-inspired tales in addition to her two novels that I have read (Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion), I find myself asking in
what ways Jane Austen has influenced my life. I’m sure our dear Jane has
touched your life one way or another so I’m going to share one of the things
that inspire me the most — reading.
Undoubtedly one of
the most talked about shows on the improvised comedy circuit, Austentatious:
An Improvised Novel is an
hour long comedy play spun in the inimitable style of Jane Austen and based
entirely on audience suggestions. Never has Austen been more hilarious! A seasoned cast
including: Cariad Lloyd (Fosters Best Newcomer Nominee 2011), Rachel
Parris (Hackney Empire Finallist 2011), Amy Cooke-Hodgson (Olivier winning
La Boheme), Joseph Morpurgo (Oxford Imps), Graham Dickson (UCB) &
Andy Murray (Private Eye) present an eloquent, irreverent, 100%
improvised take on the works of our beloved author. Performed in period costume with live
accompaniment, Austentatious is an immersive and hilarious treat for fans of
Austen and improvised comedy alike. Austentatious perform regularly at
The Wheatsheaf, Rathbone Place (London) but have
recently performed at the Edinburgh Fringe 2012.
I contacted Cariad Lloyd who kindly accepted to coordinate an interview with the rest of the cast via e-mail. This is the result of our exchange. It's time to meet the brilliant Austentatious and
enjoy our chit chat about Jane Austen and their own work.
Isn't she lovely? The pretty Jane in my header? I'm so proud of my new avatar and of my new header! Of course, she's Jane Austen just as I imagine her, between past and present. A cup of tea in her hand and a laptop instead of paper and a quill, books on the table, always nearby. What do you think? Wouldn't she have been a terrific blogger if she had lived nowadays? I bet, a very successful one!
That's lovely Jane, certainly. However, I like to think that's also me, always moving between my books and my computer , between the past and the present, with a cup or a mug at hand. Maybe not wearing a long, elegant, Regency dress actually, but virtually.
The new graphics for my Jane Austen Book Club have been designed by talented Cecilia Latella and I'm so gratefully she perfectly caught what I wanted and made my wishes beautiful, colourful images. Thank you so much, Cecilia!
If you wanted to add the vertical banner here on the left to your blog sidebar, I'd be really grateful and honored, especially if you linked it to My Jane Austen Book Club (http://thesecretunderstandingofthehearts.blogspot.it/). Leave a comment with a link to your own blog, if you decide to do it, I'll be glad to visit and say THANK YOU!
Welcome at My Jane Austen Book Club, Sarah. It’s a great pleasure to
have you here. Thanks for accepting to talk Jane Austen with me! This is my
first question for you: You defined yourself a self-avowed Janeite. Could you
tell us something more about your fondness for Austen’s work?
I first read Pride and Prejudice at age 11 or 12, and within the next
three or four years, I had read “all six of them”--all of Austen’s completed
novels and then the unfinished ones. I still re-read her works periodically and
have yet to find another author who combines her sharp observations, her
emotional accessibility, her perfect prose and her humor (that last one is the
secret ingredient that makes Jane the best).
(description of the book from Amazon.com) In contemporary pop culture, the pursuits regarded as the most
frivolous are typically understood to be more feminine in nature than
masculine. This collection illustrates how ideas of the popular and the
feminine were assumed to be equally naturally intertwined in the eighteenth
century, and the ways in which that association facilitates the ongoing trivialization
Top scholars in eighteenth-century studies examine the significance of
the parallel devaluations of women's culture and popular culture by looking at
theatres and actresses; novels, magazines, and cookbooks; and