Celebrating Jane Austen’s Birthday at My Jane Austen Book Club… & A Giveaway!

Austen_vert_compl02Maria Grazia at her Jane Austen Book Club blog is today celebrating Jane Austen’s birthday by posting various writers’ and bloggers’ thoughts on What would my life have been like without Jane Austen? – here is what I wrote…

What would my life have been like without Jane Austen?

Hard to imagine, really, but here goes with a list of what would been missing in my life if Jane Austen had not written her 6 novels, etc:

I wouldn’t have…

1. … befriended an amazing group of women from our first weekend sharing Jane Austen 20 years ago… we continue to have at least once a year “Wild Women Weekends” to discuss our latest reads and to just connect – and it all started with Jane Austen…

2. … had the repeat enjoyment of reading her novels over and over, always discovering something new;

3. … encountered the likes of Mr. Collins, Mrs. Elton, Mary Crawford, Mrs. Bennet, the Wicked Villians, and the Dashing Heroes [well, except for Edmund…];

Collins - P&P Brock - Mollands

[CE Brock, Pride and Prejudice. image: Mollands]

4. … appreciated the English language in quite the same way… the Wit, the Irony, that Free Indirect Discourse! – Who else does it quite like this! [well, after giving Shakespeare his just due…];

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5. … read North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, and therefore would not have discovered Richard Armitage as John Thornton;

6. … had to contend with the various screen Mr. Darcy’s and the endless conversations as to who is the best:

Darcy - wishbonedarcy-allureofbooks

dancing five positions

7. … learned about the fascinating history of the time – social life and customs, British history, military history and the Royal Navy, architectural, artistic, fashion history, etc. – the list is endless, and the learning never stops…;

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8. … had endless discussions on the value and virtues of Fanny Price with my very Anti-Fanny friend Sara;

Wentworth letter - Bowler Press 2

9. … read The Letter [i.e Capt. Wentworth’s “pierced soul”] – can one exist without memorizing that Letter?
[a Letterpress Broadside from the Bowler Press]

10. … had the pleasure of re-watching and critiquing the many movies!

bookcover-janeeyre11. … ,as a teenager, figured out the kind of Hero I wanted in my own life – if Jane Austen hadn’t written P&P, I would still be hankering after a Mr. Rochester or a Heathcliff – great reads but not nearly as healthy…;

12. … met so many fabulous and inspiring people in the JASNA community [as well as all the other worldwide Jane Austen Societies];

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13. … started a blog and met such amazing people in the Jane Austen online community… and may have therefore had an inordinate amount of time to do something else!

14. … collected books: the various editions of the Jane Austen novels, books about Jane Austen, books inspired by Jane Austen, books about Great Britain, books about the Regency Period and its social life and customs – whatever would I fill my bookshelves with if Jane Austen wasn’t such a part of my life?!

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Happy Birthday Jane Austen! – little could you know of your legacy of enriching so many lives!

Austen Cassandra sketch

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Giveaway!

In honor of Jane Austen’s 238th birthday, I am offering a set of the Jane Austen Playing Cards, by Prospero Art.  Please comment below on What would your life have been like without Jane Austen?  by Sunday December 22 at 11:59 pm to be entered into the drawing [US entries only, sorry to say – our postage rates have made international shipping impossible…] – I will announce the winner on Monday December 23rd…

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“Miss Eliza Bennet,” said Miss Bingley, “despises cards. She is a great reader,  and has no pleasure in anything else.”

c2013 Jane Austen in Vermont

Giveaway Reminder! ~ ‘Jane Austen Speaks to Women’

UPDATE:  the winner has just been announced!  Patricia’s Practicality please email me your address and I will get the book off to you right away.  Thanks all for your comments over at Maria Grazia’s blog – it seems a runaway that most were surprised by the extent of Col. Brandon’s secrets – a deep man in there somewhere with a great backstory!

Tomorrow is the last day to comment on my post “Secrets in Sense & Sensibility” at the My Jane Austen Book Club blog:

The Giveaway: You can comment either here or on Maria Grazia’s blog My Jane Austen Book Club to be entered into the giveaway:

Can you remember the first time you read Sense and Sensibility? What secret in the novel most surprised you?
 
Random drawing for one of my favorites of the numerous Jane Austen gift books:  Jane Austen Speaks to Women, by Edith Lank (2000) . As usual, please, don’t forget to add your e-mail address to your comment.
 
The giveaway is open worldwide . Winner will be announced on June 30th.
 
 
 
“Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.  [Elinor in Sense & Sensibility
Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum, at Jane Austen in Vermont

Secrets in Sense & Sensibility at ‘My Jane Austen Book Club’

The year of celebrating Sense & Sensibility at the blog My Jane Austen Book Club continues this month with my post on “Secrets in Sense & Sensibility”:

“Come, come, let’s have no secrets among friends.”

 

[Image: Vintage Classics cover]

Mrs. Jennings may request “no secrets among friends,” and Marianne may “abhor all concealment” (p. 53), but Sense and Sensibility is chock full of both – many secrets, much concealed – within each character, between characters, and between the author and the reader

P. D. James, in her essay “Emma Considered as a Detective Story,” defines the detective story as one “requiring a mystery, facts which are hidden from the reader but which he or she should be able to discover by logical deduction from clues inserted in the novel with deceptive cunning but essential fairness.  It is about evaluating evidence…it is concerned with bringing order out of disorder and restoring peace and tranquility to a world temporarily disrupted by the intrusions of alien influences” (James, p. 243-44)  

Such is Emma, truly a mystery, where Jane Austen gives us clues and puzzles and hints along the way, whereby we the reader can solve the underlying mystery right along with Mr. Knightley, who gets awfully close, but not quite close enough, to the solution….

… Continue reading at My Jane Austen Book Club

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The Giveaway: You can comment either here or on Maria Grazia’s blog to be entered into the giveaway:

Can you remember the first time you read Sense and Sensibility? What secret in the novel most surprised you?
 
Random drawing for one of my favorites of the numerous Jane Austen gift books:  Jane Austen Speaks to Women, by Edith Lank (2000) . As usual, please, don’t forget to add your e-mail address to your comment.
 
The giveaway is open worldwide . Winner will be announced on June 30th.
 
 
 
“Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.”  [Elinor in Sense & Sensibility
 
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The monthly S&S posts on Maria’s blog can be viewed here:

1. January:  Jennifer Becton    Men, Marriage and Money in Sense and Sensibility
2. February:  Alexa Adams        Sense and Sensibility on Film
3. March:  C. Allyn Pierson   Property and Inheritance Law in S &S
4. April:  Beth Pattillo    Lost in Sense and Sensibility
5. May:    Jane Odiwe   Willoughby: a rogue on trial
6. June:   Deb @JASNA Vermont  Secrets in Sense and Sensibility
7. July:   Laurie Viera Rigler   Interview with Lucy Steele
8. August:  Regina Jeffers     Settling for the Compromise Marriage
9. September:   Lynn Shepherd The origins of S&S: Richardson, Jane Austen, Elinore & Marianne                            
10. October:   Meredith @Austenesque Reviews   Sense and Sensibility fanfiction
11. November:  Vic @Jane Austen’s World  Minor characters in Sense and Sensibility
12. December:   Laurel Ann @Austenprose  Marianne Dashwood: A passion for dead Leaves and other Sensibilities                

[Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum of Jane Austen in Vermont]

The ‘Sense & Sensibility’ Bicentenary Celebration

Maria Grazia at My Jane Austen Book Club is hosting a year-long celebration of the 200 year anniversary of the publication of Sense & Sensibility. Maria has invited twelve other Austen bloggers [including yours truly] to each post an article on Austen’s first published work.  Here is Maria’s invitation and the schedule:

October 2011 will mark the bicentenary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. This is why ‘My Jane Austen Book Club’ wants to  dedicate a special space to the celebration and discussion of Austen’s first achievement as a published writer. I have invited some expert Janeites to contribute to the discussion and they have kindly and generously accepted . Katherine at November’s Autumn  and Gaskell Blog contributed the cute button on the left. Each month one of them will deal with a theme, a character, a topic somehow linked to Sense and Sensibility. The discussion will be open to you all with your comments, questions and suggestions. There will be a monthly giveaway and you will have the chance to win a book or DVD connected to our celebration. Here’s the schedule of our  virtual meetings. Take notes.

 1.  January“Marriage & Money in Sense & Sensibility” by Jennifer Becton – this article is now live on Maria’s site – If you comment  and leave your e-mail address on this first post or/and on the announcement of the Grand Event for Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary, you’ll be entered in the giveaway of The Three Weissmans of Westport by Cathleen Shine. This novel,  published by Picador,  is a new modern re-telling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility – this giveaway is for US readers only  but there will be others open worldwide. It ends 31st January.

  Stay tuned for:

2.  February – “Sense and Sensibility on Screen” by Alexa Adams

3.  March – “Inheritance Laws & Their Consequences in Sense & Sensibility” by C. Allyn Pierson

4.  April – “Lost in Sense & Sensibility” by Beth Patillo

5.  May – “Willoughby: A Rogue on Trial” by Jane Odiwe

6.  June – “Secrets in Sense & Sensibility” by Deb Barnum of Jane Austen in Vermont

7.  July – “Interview with Lucy Steele” by Laurie Viera Rigler  

8.  August – “Settling for the Compromise Marriage” by Regina Jeffers

9.  September – “The Origins of S&S: Richardson, Jane Austen, Elinor & Mariannne”  by Lynn Shepherd                           

10.  October – “Sense & Sensibility Fanfiction” by Meredith of Austenesque Reviews 

11. November – “Minor Characters in Sense & Sensibility” by Vic of Jane Austen’s World

12.  December – “Marianne Dashwood: A Passion for Dead Leaves & Other Sensibilities”  by Laurel Ann of Austenprose  

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A  year chock full of  S&S insights! – so check back to read these sure-to-be-interesting posts on S&S and a chance each month to win the latest giveaway.

There are also other Sense & Sensibility celebrations and blog tours – I will post on these another day – in the meantime, check out Jennifer Becton’s post on  “Marriage & Money in Sense & Sensibility”  at My Jane Austen Book Club.  With hearty thanks to Maria for setting this up!

Copyright @ 2011, Deb Barnum at Jane Austen in Vermont.