Wednesday 27 November 2013


First of all Stan, let me welcome you to our online book club. I’m really glad you’re here to introduce yourself and present your new book to our readers.
Thank you very much for having me. I think yours is one of the most appealing and impressive websites devoted to the works of Jane Austen, and I marvel at how you manage to keep it up with all your other jobs: wife and mother, teacher, and two other blogs! Well done!

Well, thank you very much, Stan. Blogging is a very engaging but very rewarding hobby for me. Now let’s focus on you, instead and of course, my first question is:  “How did it come that you decided to write your own version of Pride and Prejudice”?
My introduction to Jane Austen was the Keira Knightly / Matthew Macfadyen movie in 2005; I was in my 50’s then. I was caught immediately, even though most Austen fans think it one of the worst versions ever made; I began reading all her novels, followed by the rest of the movie and TV productions. When I ran out of those, a friend introduced me to another trilogy. While I was at first delighted simply to be back in the world created by Jane Austen, subsequent readings left me unsatisfied (I should say that I wolf down new books like a starving man at his first meal; then, once sated, I go back to savour it with a more discriminating palate). The Darcy in that series, while certainly well-written, bothered me enough that I felt the need to attempt it myself; I almost felt as if someone of my acquaintance had come off badly in the press, and that I needed to correct it. The one thing that troubled me most was that this Darcy did not, to my mind, act the way a man really would. Then I went back to P & P and asked myself if Austen’s Darcy could be more fully imagined in the way I would expect a man to act; and, to no one’s surprise, I’m sure, I found that he could. Over time, what had started off as a purely personal quest to fill in the gaps Austen left for us, turned into a larger project.

Saturday 23 November 2013


First of all Kaelyn, welcome to our online book club. I’m really glad you’re here today to introduce yourself and your new book to our readers.

Thanks so much for having me!

Of course, my first question is: How did it come that you decided to write about Jane Austen’s world?

I became enamored with the BBC/A&E Pride and Prejudice miniseries … to the point that I was watching it multiple times each year. I couldn’t figure out why a woman of “sense and education” would repeatedly watch the same movie again and again (and again!) … and then it occurred to me: Being able to hear the language of Jane Austen and see the lifestyle of Elizabeth Bennet was just so pleasurable – beyond even what the novel could provide. That’s when I decided to “translate” Austen’s language and Elizabeth’s lifestyle for contemporary fans.

How to Speak Like Jane Austen and Live Like Elizabeth Bennet, A Pride and Prejudice Primer: Your Guide to Livelier Language and a Lovelier Lifestyle is available as an ebook. How would you interest our Janeite friends in your book in about 50 words?

I would say: If you can’t get enough of Pride or Prejudice in book or movie form, you can now put down the novel and step away from the DVD! How to Speak Like Jane Austen and Live Like Elizabeth Bennet makes it easy to incorporate Austen’s lively language and Elizabeth’s lovely lifestyle into our everyday lives.

Saturday 9 November 2013


In this 200th anniversary year, there have been some wonderful events and also all manner of hype surrounding Jane Austen.  The controversial rewriting of her six finished books in a modern idium - the auction of her ring ... could it be saved for the nation? - new medical details of her final illness - her portrait on the new £10 note - much drama and a firestorm of interest but what of Jane herself?

Let’s not overlook her or what she achieved in her short life at the expense of fortune and marriage to find the freedom to write six novels. Join the timely celebration of Jane Austen (this year) by really getting to know her and her world.

My main motivation for making this film, Jane Austen – Overcoming Pride and Prejudice is to get to the heart of Jane Austen, her achievements, and the challenges she had to overcome to find the inspiration and independence to write her six novels.

 I’ve watched the growing fascination with Jane and her work with mixed feelings, because her individual journey is in danger of being lost sight of in the clamour of popularity.  She lived in a different world with different rules, and her unique contribution in the field of English literature redefined the place of women within that society.  

Friday 8 November 2013


The author Jane Lark, included a Theatre Scene in her debut novel The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, and shares with us the research she undertook of a Georgian theatre which Jane Austen attended in Bath

The Theatre Royal in Bath was opened on 27th October 1750 but at the time it had no boxes. When it opened the space was simply a stage and the audience watched from a sloped floor which rose by roughly seven feet from the front of the Theatre to the back.

The elite who visited Bath must have still thought the then new Theatre a bit less than genteel in comparison to the venues they frequented in London. They could not reserve a space nor escape the local less well born who might attend. But still they managed to engineer an improvement to their theatre visit. They would send their servants to theirearly and have them stand in a space and then arrive once the play had started. Of course that meant disturbance for everyone else as people forced a path through the crowd to get in and their servants then forced back through the crowd to get out. And let’s remember there were probably at least two dozen or more aristocrats or gently born patrons reserving spaces.

Monday 4 November 2013


Greetings, Maria Grazia! Thank you for hosting a stop on The Red Chrysanthemum Blog Tour. You suggested a discussion of writing Mr Darcy or about the letters that propel the plot forward. There is one person in both my novel and Pride and Prejudice who has strong opinions about correspondence, so I took the liberty of prevailing upon him to post in my place. Thankfully, for once his return message was sent in a timely manner!—
Linda Beutler

Mr. Thomas Bennet
Longbourn, Hertfordshire
November 1, 2013

Dear Maria and your kindly readers,

You will notice this missive comes to you having been written on the Day of the Dead, when those of us who have passed-on return to watch you still living parade in skeletal regalia. In my case, I merely revisit my library or look over the shoulders of that most strange breed of creature, the Jane Austen Fan Fiction author. It was while communing with a new friend amongst them, a Mrs Linda Beutler, that the lady asked me to provide some wisdom regarding letters in her diverting new book, The Red Chrysanthemum.

    It has not escaped my notice there are some amongst you who do not hold me in a favourable light. Whatever faults you attribute to me are probably deserved. It is true, I am not a patient husband, and prefer the solace of my own company to the noisy antics of my two youngest daughters. Of my middle daughter, I readily confess myself at a loss as to how to encourage Mary to expand her small-mindedness. However, I accept credit—there is no blame—for how brilliantly my two eldest daughters have managed their lives. Whilst with Jane it can only be said her mother and I managed not to mar what was from infancy a sweet and happy nature, with Elizabeth I am proud to say I protected her from her mother’s excesses and supported Lizzy’s every inclination to improve herself through the knowledge of nature and extensive reading.

Sunday 3 November 2013


Maria, thank you so much for inviting me to talk about my new book, Project Darcy, and share an exclusive sneak peek!
When I first read about the fact that there’d been an archaeological dig at Jane Austen’s childhood home, I couldn’t help thinking that it would make a marvellous setting for a novel. The idea of a group of volunteers, from all walks of life, coming together in secret to discover all sorts of interesting possibilities about Jane Austen’s first twenty five years of life at Steventon Rectory, really fired my imagination. I wanted to combine a modern story with undertones of Pride and Prejudice alongside a tale in the past, and having written one timeslip novel, I couldn’t wait to get started.
Ellie, Jess, Martha, Cara, and Liberty, are five friends just leaving university, and all have their own reasons for volunteering for the dig. They arrive at Ashe, just a couple of miles from Steventon and are going to be staying at Jess’s godmother’s house - Ashe Rectory. What none of them realise is that this house has its own connections to Jane Austen’s past in a very special way as the house where she fell in love, but for one person, in particular, being haunted by a particular young man has life-changing consequences!
Here’s a little excerpt - the girls have arrived at the house where they’re staying, and immediately, Ellie senses the enchantment of the place.

Saturday 2 November 2013


I'm always surprised and happy to find Austenite friends loving Jane and her works just all over the world. And when they decide to write fan fiction and want to share their fondness and their achievements I'm always glad to let them share here at My Jane Austen Book Club. Today I'd like you to meet and welcome Petronela Ungureanu from Romania. Read an excerpt from her "A Lot of Pride and Some Prejudice" and try to win 2 e-books in the giveaway contest linked to this post  (see rafflecopter form below).

Maria Grazia

Read an excerpt 
-    My dear miss Clairon I am mortified, I cannot explain how such an abominable mistake could have been produced. Please allow me to apologize profusely, I intend to take drastic measures for this unforgivable negligence.
Lord Salisbury was indeed very mortified, since the luggage of his guest, Miss Clairon, had been misplaced, and the old governess was purple with embarrassment. Lord Salisbury was ceaselessly waving his short chubby arms like he was trying to express the magnitude of his regret, yet Miss Clairon seemed to be unmoved. Through the peephole of the dining room’s door, Portia was observing with tremendous amusement the entire  commotion from the hall, when she suddenly realized that she was not alone. She turned around in a startling rush and she saw a tall, imposing man observing her with an amused expression on his face,. There was no reproof in his eyes, just a cheerful flicker of extreme diversion. When he spoke, his voice was kind and his tone excessively polite.
-    Were you listening at the door, Madame, or were you looking through the peep