I never cease to be amazed by how devoted and creative Jane Austen fans can be. We love to read books by Austen, of course, but we don’t stop there. We also read books about Austen. We read books based on the characters she created. We read continuations of her stories. We watch movies based on her books, and sometimes we watch movies about Austen herself. We join discussion groups to talk about her books, her life, and the impact she has made on the world today. We even go to meetings and conventions to celebrate our love of Austen.
If you’ve looked around online for any kind of Jane Austen “stuff” before, you know exactly what I mean. The hats. The tote bags. The water bottles. The coloring books, notepads, and replica quill pens. The socks and hats and scarves. And the jewelry! All the “stuff” that ties into Jane Austen somehow, by putting her picture on it or emblazoning it with one of her sayings. My goodness, what would Austen say if she could see all this “stuff”?
Why do we do this? I don’t know. Charles Dickens doesn’t have all this “stuff” based on him. Neither do the Bronte sisters, or any of the great poets. Possibly Shakespeare has inspired the same level of devotion, but I’m not sure: I’ve been too busy looking up everything I could possibly find online for the most unexpected Jane Austen “stuff.”
I’m pretty sure I’ve found almost everything needed to fully stock a home with nothing but Jane Austen “stuff.” Can I take you on a little tour? I’d like to show you what my home would look like if I bought every single piece of Jane Austen “stuff” that’s out there.
First, in my living room you would see light switch covers with pictures of Jane Austen. These lights would be shining on soft sculpture dolls of Elizabeth Bennet, and they would also help you see the cross stitch of Mr. Darcy that I would be working on. You might also see me talking on my phone with a Pride and Prejudice phone case, or playing loo with Jane Austen playing cards.
The dining room would be a bit fancier. You would definitely notice the decorative plates with Jane Austen quotes hanging on one wall, as well as the Jane Austen candle on the table itself alongside the Jane Austen coasters. But the focal point of the dining room would be this magnificent Pride and Prejudice tapestry, large enough to take up one whole side of the room. Stunning!
The kitchen . . . well, the kitchen would be a bit more casual. There would be the required napkins and teacups with Jane Austen quotes or pictures of Mr. Darcy, of course. But there would also be tea towels, water bottles, and these adorable finger puppets that double as refrigerator magnets. I could act out my favorite Pride and Prejudice scenes while waiting for my Jane Austen sugar cookies to bake!
Sadly, the bathroom in my imaginary Austen themed house wouldn’t have much “stuff.” I could only find bath mats and beach towels with Austen themes. But there are these Jane Austen air fresheners, and a bathroom is still a bathroom, so all is not lost!
No house would be complete without a nursery or playroom. In my nursery you would see a baby wearing Jane Austen baby bibs and using P&P blankets. You might see older children playing with Austen clothespin dolls, or perhaps a Jane Austen action figure. They might also play with Austen jigsaw puzzles or pack an Austen backpack to go off to kindergarten. And at the end of a long, busy day I would tuck my child into bed and read them, “Good Night, Mr. Darcy.”
Finally we come to the best room of all: the bedroom! The bedroom would be wonderful! There would be Sense & Sensibility writing gloves, a Jane Austen watch, P&P tights, and Jane Austen tennis shoes. In my top dresser drawer there would be “I Love Mr. Darcy” underwear and my very own Mr. Darcy fragrance spray. And if that was still not enough of Mr. Darcy, I might even get a very special tattoo, so I could have him with me all the time. Take that, Caroline Bingley!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of my fictional house stuffed with Jane Austen stuff. Believe it or not, there are still some items I haven’t been able to find! For instance, in the kitchen I think a Colonel Brandon jar opener and an Anne Elliot timer would be wonderful. I’d love to see Lady Catherine toilet paper in the bathroom, and the nursery could really use diapers with . . . . well, you can insert your own favorite villain here.
But what I’d LOVE to find would be chocolate with any kind of Austen theme. White chocolate or dark chocolate, I don’t care. It could be Elizabeth, Darcy, or even Mr. Collins. In fact, if you can find something on the web that is chocolate and has anything to do with Jane Austen, I’ll buy two of whatever it is, one for you and one for me.* The first one to post a link to something combining Austen and chocolate wins!
What’s the most unusual Jane Austen thing you’ve ever run across?
***It must be something readily available on the web, not just available as a custom order