"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Celebrating Jane Austen

It happens to me about once a year...I get the Jane Austen bug and the only treatment is full immersion in anything Jane.

This year instead of rereading actual Austen novels I read several modern novels about Austen characters or in her style:

-Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler--A modern Austen fan hits her head in a diving accident and wakes in Regency England in the body of Jane Mansfield and finds love with a very Austenish man. Not high literature, for sure, but I enjoyed this and have found some other fans among my teen readers.

-Rude Awakenings for a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler--Hum. Wonder what this will be about? Right. Jane Mansfield, from Austen's time period, hits her head in a riding accident and awakes in modern times in Los Angeles. I didn't care for this one as much as the first book but it did have a bit of charm.

-The Diary of Captain Wentworth by Amanda Granger--The diary of Frederick Wentworth begins eight years before Persuasion when he meets, courts, and falls in love with Anne Eliott, then picks up eight years later when he once again comes in contact with Anne. I enjoyed this book quite a lot. It helped me to imagine details only hinted at in Persuasion.

-These Three Remain by Pamela Aiden--The third book in the trilogy taking Pride and Prejudice from Fitzwilliam Darcy's point-of-view. I read the first book in the trilogy, An Assembly Such as This, several years ago and really didn't like it. The reviews on the second book, Duty and Honor, were not good, so I skipped it. I did like this book, however. I think its strength lies in the details it adds to P & P which explain why Mr. Darcy changes so much between the first proposal and his meeting of Elizabeth at Pemberley. It also adds characters not found in Austen's book that add interest and intrigue to the man, Darcy.

The Jane Austen Companion to Love--a cute little book put together for Valentine's Day, no doubt. It contains actual quotes on love and relationships from Austen's novels and letters. It also contains marvelous illustrations from Charles Edmund Brock and his brother Henry Brock who provided illustrations for many popular books in the late 1800s. (See illustrations top of page.) Here is a quote from the introduction which goes along with the theme of this blog: "Jane is at the same time accessible and untouchable, and she has inspired a veritable industry of sequels, adaptions, movies, and miniseries."

This is Jane Austen Week at my school. Lunchtime activities related to Jane Austen all week include watching the Masterpiece Theatre version of Mansfield Park, trivia games, and awards.


  1. I adore J.A. I wish I could be at your school for the special week!

  2. Jane Austen Week was a tremendous success. 30-40 students attended the activities and video each day spread out over all our lunch periods. By the end students and teachers were begging me to do it once a month. I truly believe that I have cultivated some new Jane Austen fans, too. We determined that for the most part that we are all hopeless romantics and Austen appeals to that side of us. The winner of the trivia contest, who answered 22 of the 25 questions put to her, won a "tea" basket that I put together with an antique teacup and saucer that I found at a nearby antique store, a book on how to make food for a proper English tea event, and a box of English Breakfast tea. She was thrilled, so I was thrilled. I don't think I'll do this once a month, but perhaps once a year.


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