Wednesday, 22 March 2017

JANE AUSTEN FOR CHILDREN. ALICE CHANDLER, AUNT JANE AND THE MISSING CHERRY PIE

Jane Austen has been part of my life ever since I read Pride and Prejudice as a book-loving child. The book-loving child grew up to be an English professor, and I’ve taught Jane Austen, written about Jane Austen, and lectured abroad about Jane Austen. Currently, I am giving a Jane Austen course at our local senior citizens’ center.

But what to do about my granddaughter Dana? How could I introduce her to the author I loved and give her at least a sense of what Jane Austen was like? I thought Dana would like a story about Jane Austen, if only I could find the right format for it.

My first decision was borrowed straight from Stephanie Barron, whose Jane Austen mysteries I so much enjoyed. Mine would be a mystery story, too—only at a child’s level rather than an adult’s. That was how the mystery of “Aunt Jane and the Missing CherryPie” originated.

My next decision was deciding who should be the narrator. Jane Austen lived surrounded by visiting nieces and nephews—some, very sadly, because they needed childcare after their mothers had died in childbirth. (Four of Jane Austen’s sisters-in-law died in this way—two after the birth of their eleventh child.) We know from Jane Austen’s nephew that she told “the most delightful stories, chiefly of fairyland, and her fairies had all characters of their own.” We also know that she wrote what she called Miscellaneous Morsels for her brother James’s daughter. So, Jane-Anna-Elizabeth Austen (always called Anna) became the narrator of my story.

Monday, 20 March 2017

FIFTY SHADES OF PRIDE & PREJUDICE

Does it make sense? No? Well, it makes fun!

Fifty Shades of Pride and Prejudice? Does something like that make sense? I mean, really? A mash –up of Fifty Shades of Grey and Pride and Prejudice? Improbable.  That was my first thought. But, then, I decided to have a look at the video and it was a parody  and  I had to admit that if it didn’t  -probably - make SENSE  it made good FUN.

The trailer parody runs 1:55 and stars Jason Michael Snow (Book of Mormon on Broadway) and Nicole Wyland (Video Game High School) as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett and was written by Los-Angeles based comedy writers Caitlin Cohen (Dead State) and Heidi Lux (Reductress). 

Now, try it yourself!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

MISTRESS BLOG TOUR LAUNCH. AUTHOR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: MASCULINITY IN THE REGENCY

Sophie Turner: Masculinity in the Regency

Good morning, Maria Grazia, and thank you for welcoming me to your wonderful blog. I am thrilled to launch the blog tour for my latest release, Mistress, here at My Jane Austen Book Club. Today I wanted to share with you and your readers a post about one of my favorite Austen heroes, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. Like quite a few women, I was mildly horrified by the New York Times article that envisioned Mr. Darcy as a pale, rather thin man with powdered hair. Horrified, and a little perplexed.

Darcy from the study mentioned in the article, vs., of course, Colin Firth’s portrayal

Assuming the 1811 timeline of Pride and Prejudice, Darcy was better than 15 years past when hair powder was common. Following a tax on hair powder in 1795, use fell off rapidly. It’s pretty possible that Darcy might never have used hair powder at all, and I can see no way that an 1811 Darcy would have had powdered hair.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

SHANNON WINSLOW PRESENTS LEAP OF HOPE FROM HER NEW CROSSROADS COLLECTION


Leap of Hope: Write What You Love
Who hasn’t wondered at least once how life would have changed by making an alternate choice at some crucial moment in the past? Where would you be today if you’d turned right instead of left at an important crossroads or been able to sidestep a particular misfortune? Or perhaps you’ve daydreamed about a different life altogether, in a different place and time.
That’s what the stories of my new Crossroads Collection are all about: turning points, possibilities, and second chances. Each book features a new hero/heroine who’s given the extraordinary gift of a second chance at life, the chance to answer for themselves the intriguing question “what if?” The first two books feature Ben Lewis (a struggling minor-league baseball player) and Hope O’Neil (an Austen-obsessed college student). Their contrasting personalities and choices take them on radically different adventures. 

Maria Grazia has graciously offered to host both these new novels on blog tour today – Leap of Hope here, and Leap of Faith over at FLY HIGH!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

CAROLINE BY SUE BARR: BLOG TOUR LAUNCH, DREAMCASTING & GIVEAWAY


Good morning, Maria Grazia, and thank you for hosting the launch post of my first JAFF blog tour for my latest release, Caroline, Pride & Prejudice Continued… Book One. As you can tell from the title, I wrote a book about the much vilified Caroline Bingley and provided her with a new romantic interest. In light of this venture, I wanted to share with readers my very own Dreamcast for my story. What fun it was to put this eclectic group of actors together, (read that as much time spent on Google, sighing over images of handsome men), and I hope it leaves readers with the desire to learn more about my merry troupe characters!

I have written other romance stories, but this is my first foray into the Regency era and with this in mind, I wanted to convey a sense of who these characters are with regard to their looks as well as in their own styles. Pride and Prejudice has been adapted for the screen and stage so many times, that I think that most Austen fans have in their minds a version of each central character that is influenced by these adaptations, as well as created from the images based on their own various reading experiences. It is my hope that my Dreamcast resonates with the readers of Caroline and helps them to create their own lovely images of these characters throughout the story!

“Books belong to their readers.” John Green

Friday, 10 March 2017

MARINA CANO, JANE AUSTEN AND PERFORMANCE - THE 'PERFORMATIVE POTENTIAL' BEHIND AUSTEN WORKS

Dr Marina Cano has just published a very interesting study of Austen’s work and its afterlives. One chapter is dedicated to Jane Austen Fans; that is why I heard of Marina and her research before the book came out. She contacted me for her survey: am I not a truly devoted Austen fan who has the luck and joy to know a lot of truly devoted Austen fans?

I’m truly glad now to present the final work, Jane Austen and Performance, and to introduce  Dr Marina Cano  to you and let you discover more about her research in her own words.  She took some time to answer some questions and here’s the resulting interview.

When and How did you discover Jane Austen?

Like many of the fans who so generously answered my survey, I came to Austen through the film adaptations. In my case, it was Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility (1995)—with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, etc.—that made the trick. From there, I went to the novels—and more films!—Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion...And the rest is history!

How do you explain her being the most beloved author in English Literature?

This is the ultimate question I try to address in my book Jane Austen and Performance: I examine the “performative potential” behind her texts—in other words, her ability to make things happen. Readers “perform” her novels and her stories; they inhabit her characters on every reading, or every time they watch one of the film or stage adaptations, or revisit her stories in any way. And this does have an effect on people’s lives; it changes things, as so many of the wonderful respondents to my survey made clear. It might happen to some extent with other authors but not as much; I think it is what makes Jane Austen so special in English literature.