A few days ago on Facebook, a friend of mine posted this cool link about people who’d gotten book-related tattoos. Lots of famous novels were represented, including the Harry Potter books, The Little Prince, The Great Gatsby, Peter Pan, The Catcher in the Rye, and even Where the Wild Things Are!
But, of course, this image from Pride and Prejudice was the one that really caught my eye, and I had to share it. I loved hearing from several other Austen fans about their personal tattoo choices — some of which were definitely Austen related! – or the kinds of tattoos they’d fantasized about getting someday.
If you were going to get a tattoo (or, perhaps, you already have one or more!!), what would yours say? Or which image would you choose? I’m a little too whimpy to do it for real (needles! pain! oh, my!), but one of my favorite JA quotes is this one: “Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken.” Probably a bit long, LOL, but I’d be tempted to immortalize it. Or maybe just: “I *Heart* Mr. Darcy!”
What about you? Would you…tattoo?!
“Men are always liable to quarrel. Why should they then not settle their differences in the clean, decent way of fisticuffs?”*
* J.C. Reid, quoting the Regency sport writer Pierce Egan about pugilism in Bucks and Bruisers, Routledge, Kegan Paul, London, 1971.
Not being a fisticuff kind of gal (never mind what childhood stories my brothers may tell you otherwise), I’d always considered the sport of boxing brutish and uncivilized. Yet, precisely because it’s brutish and uncivilized, a Regency pugilistic encounter was not to be missed!
Stripped to the waist, two brawny specimens of English manhood, armed with only their bare fists and bottomless courage, pummeled and pounded at each other until one of them is rendered unconscious and/or dragged, broken and bleeding, from the ring by his seconds.
Really! What was I thinking? What’s not to like! (If I may be facetious here.)
Would Jane Austen’s heroes be found as a spectator at such a vulgar brawl’? Hmmm…. I could see John Thorpe and Frank Churchchill and George Wickhamattending, but would Henry Tilney, George Knightley, and Fitzwilliam Darcy?
Yes. From what I read of the period, most likely. Continue reading →
I love spring; the warmer weather and brighter days; the smell of freshly cut grass. Watching the buds on the trees and the bright yellow forsythia blossoms slowly unfurling from their winter hibernation fills me with a sense of renewal and awe. It’s at this point, from beneath the flowering dogwoods and purple lilacs, that I always feel a sort of communion, not just with Mother Nature, but with Elizabeth Bennet.
At this time of year I find her everywhere and in everything—from winding wooded paths and patches of periwinkles, to sun-dappled moss carpets and lush, green meadows. It can’t be helped. Jane Austen gave her most beloved heroine such a fondness for the outdoors that it’s so easy to imagine her at every turn, a smile on her face and her head tilted heavenward, soaking up the sun. She’s been my companion on many a hike through the woods near my home, through the countryside, and even by the sea. I often take long walks with my family, but Elizabeth Bennet never fails to tag along, too, feeding my imagination and planting the seeds for new stories in my head.
We pack snacks to take with us, and while my husband and daughter are munching happily, perched atop the highest rock in sight, I’m right beside them, often scribbling away in the notebook I stashed in my backpack, writing furiously about Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. My daughter skips over to read over my shoulder, and my husband shakes his head and rolls his eyes, but his voice is teasing. “Do you always have to bring that guy with you?” he asks, referring to Mr. Darcy. I smile and laugh at him, shaking my own head as I put my notebook away and reach for a bag of granola (the kind with the chocolate chips). “Of course not,” I tell him, “but he’d be awfully lonely by himself.”
Jane Austen once wrote, “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” I can’t help but agree, especially when I have my family at my side, and Elizabeth Bennet a few steps ahead of me.
Speaking of Elizabeth Bennet, if all goes according to schedule, my supernatural Pride & Prejudice novella, Darkness Falls Upon Pemberly, should be available in August from White Soup Press. And yes, there will definitely be a give-away!
Welcome to the thirteenth installment of The Bennet Brother, the interactive group writing project from Austen Authors! At the end of this segment, you’ll have a chance to vote on what happens next. There are also extra details on Twitter, where this story has taken on a life of its own. Mr. Edward Bennet (@edwbennet) already has a notable presence and regularly interacts with readers, including this interview with Miss Leatherberry on Leatherbound Reviews:
Full details on Pride & Prejudice Reader’s Choice can be read by clicking to the page via the menu above or the icon to the left.
Voting for today’s installment will end at 6am tomorrow – Thursday, May 9th. Next week, the story continues with a new addition by Sally Smith O’Rourke. The previous twelve installments can be read in order on The Writers Block.
Following on the heels of Colette Saucier, I begin by stepping back a few days to reveal an important, clandestine meeting between two prime players in today’s scene. Tying up a few loose strings was important, plus a wee bit of intrigue is a positive boon to a dramatic story, right? So get ready to have your socks knocked off! (I hope)
Here is Scene #13 by Sharon Lathan ~~
Seven days before the Bennets’ departure…
“Are you sure you want to be alone with him, Miss? He is dangerous.”
“I am sure, and he isn’t dangerous.”
The jailor shook his head, and then shrugged. “Whatever you say, Miss. I’ll be right outside this door if you need me.”
“I won’t, but do appreciate your concern.” The cloaked woman nodded toward the lock and said no more as the jailor turned the key. Once opened, she breezed through and headed straight for the cell indicated by the jailor’s point.
George Wickham stood as she approached. Surprise and happiness flooded his face, a smile springing forth even though she could tell he fought it. His words of greeting conveyed the mixture of his emotions. Continue reading →
There is a fabulous article printed in the UK’s Daily Mail here titled Parmesan Ice Cream, Rouge for Mr. Darcy and Chamber Pots Galore – What Experts Discovered When They Tried to Recreate the Pride & Prejudice Ball for Television.
Wouldn’t you like to see the show?! You can, if you live in the UK, this Friday night on BBC2. Does anyone know when the rest of us might be able to watch it? Apparently, Punch a la Romaine, a cocktail made from rum or brandy and lemon and meringue was served…but where did the show draw the line on historical accuracy? Did they bring in hundreds of chamber pots for the historical recreation?
Historian Amanda Vickery hosts the show, and the ball itself was recreated at none other than Chawton House Library pictured above. I’ve been lucky enough to tour Chawton House Library, the mansion that Jane Austen’s brother Edward inherited from the Knight family after they adopted him. It’s the perfect setting! If you have the time, a visit to their website could amuse you for hours, click here for a diversion.
If you are ever in England, Chawton House Library is a short walk from Jane Austen’s cottage, the Chawton House Museum, and well worth it…it is now a library devoted to Early Women’s Writing, thanks to benefactor Sandy Lerner. Austen herself would’ve known the mansion well, having lived on its grounds in her cottage, and often invited to “the great house.” Continue reading →
Happy Mother’s Day! This is my last post before Mother’s Day, so I’m celebrating a little early by giving away a proof copy of my newest release, When They Fall in Love, and one of the following: Darcy on the Hudson, Mr. Darcy’s Angel of Mercy, or Captain Wentworth Home from the Sea with their old covers.
Why all the old covers? Because I’m cleaning house. My husband and I are nearing retirement, and this week, we purchased our retirement home in Arizona’s High Country in Flagstaff. When we finally do retire, we will be spending a lot more time in a smaller house, and it was the perfect time to take stock of what we had stored in nooks, crannies, closets, and under the bed. (In Arizona, few houses have basements, so everyone has those under-the-bed storage containers from Bed, Bath and Beyond.) The inventory revealed several copies of books with covers that I had changed when I bought (and finally learned how to use) this super-duper cover program. So I decided to share them with other Jane Austen enthusiasts.
One of the delights of being a part of the Jane Austen community is meeting and interacting with fellow Janeites. Although it is likely that I will not meet most of my “on-line” friends, I know a lot about their families, including glimpses into the lives of their children (e.g., Angie K.’s kids are very active in 4H). I’m sure you all know that I have two grown daughters and two grandchildren, but in case you didn’t, my granddaughter is nine and my grandson is 2-1/2. Part of the reason for the early home purchase was because we had a vacation condo that was not big enough to contain all of my grandson’s energy. We needed a fenced yard where he could run!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a wonderful Mother’s Day! I hope you will be treated royally.
To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment about anything that strikes your fancy, including Mother’s Day moments, by May 9. The winner will be announced on May 10.
I remember when I was growing up, there was a TV ad (I don’t recall what it was it was advertising) that said “You can’t fool Mother Nature.” That may or may not be true, but I have to posit that Mother Nature is fooling with us.
For heaven’s sake, it’s May 3rd! There should be daffodils blooming and buds opening on the trees. Well, actually, I guess those things are going on, but they are happening beneath 5 inches of snow.
On Tuesday, it was 80 degrees and the shrubs and trees in the ravine behind my house were just starting to unfurl. My daffodils were up and there were a few flowers already open. I had taken a picture the night before of one of the Barred Owls who live in the woods as he sat looking at me in the mellow light of sunset. We hear him and his friends every night talking to each other, but rarely see then, let alone up close and in the daylight. Continue reading →
Jane Austen cherished her true friends. She remained very close with Martha Lloyd and the Bigg sisters her entire life. Her best friend was indubitably her sister Cassandra, her soul mate and confidante from the day she was born, who famously wrote when Jane died:
I have lost a treasure, such a sister, such a friend as never can have been surpassed,—She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow, I had not a thought concealed from her, & it is as if I had lost a part of myself.
Jane and Cassandra wrote to each other constantly whenever they were apart, long, newsy letters full of all the little details in their lives. What would it be like if they were alive today? If separated, I bet they would text and email each other several times a day, and would be on the phone constantly, chatting the hours away.
When I ponder the lifelong bond of love and friendship the Austen sisters shared, I can’t help but smile; they were so lucky to have had each other! And I feel that I’ve been equally as fortunate, for although I don’t have a biological sister, I have several close girlfriends who have deeply enriched my life–and one in particular, Kimberly, my very best friend–who I have known for my entire life. She’s as dear to me as any sister ever could be, and in tribute to her I wrote this piece.
Kimberly and I first met when we were two years old, when her family moved in across the street from mine, and we literally grew up together. We lived in San Jose, California, back when it was a small town. Our street was a dirt road with prune orchards, and we lived in two of the first houses on the block.
When I think back to my childhood in San Jose, most of my memories involve things Kimberly and I did, and times spent playing with her and her two sisters and little brother. We drew pictures for hours at the kitchen table; we swung on the jungle gym; we read books and did homework together; we play-acted Nancy Drew mysteries and “Lost on a Desert Island,” taking turns to be the person who got to discover the amazing hidden “cave” in the bamboo in my backyard; we played Barbies and Legos and “house” in a playhouse her grandfather built in their backyard; we rode bikes to the community pool to take swim lessons; we sat on top of a high fence at the side of my house (our favorite place) and ate popsicles; we played barefoot outside until well after dark in summer; and we slept over at each other’s houses too many times to count, sharing all our secrets and dreams for the future. Continue reading →