So this is the last of the Modesto Jane Con posts…
I know, I’m sad it is over too. I miss Jane Con.
Life seems grey…
So quick review, (just in case this is your first post). If you have been following me on social media, you know I have been super excited about Modesto Jane Con. The past eight years I have seen pictures from different Jane Cons and festivals and wished I could go-but they were not possible for me to attend as it always came down to a problem of time, money, work, etc. Instead I had to be content with seeing pictures on social media.
But then Modesto Jane Con was created! And with Modesto not being too far and this only costing $30, I was going!
From January 10th-12th there were all kinds of workshops, activities, movies, an opera, and even a fashion show!
Your $30 ticket allowed you to attend the workshops (BOTH DAYS) and see one showing of Mansfield Park Opera (your choice of Saturday or Sunday).
So I saw the ad on instagram in July and convinced my book club + my sister to join me. As it was way off in January, I knew I had plenty of time to get a costume together. I was going to have Madsen Creationsmake one for me, but saw no rush as I had plenty of time.
Well, time went by and in October, I thought maybe should I order my Jane Austen outfit? But Madsen Creations was moving, and I decided to wait. After all I had three months, that was plenty of time.
Yes-October flew by to November, November to December, and next thing I know it was December 30th, Jane Con was next weekend, and due to a unforeseen Cat health emergency-I didn’t have the money. What was I going to do?
I then had the idea, what if we decorated shirts with quotes or fun Jane Austen sayings?
But then time slipped away. And Modesto Jane Con was the next day. I then came up with the idea-what if we did Jane Austen in another time period? Like in The Darcy Monologues? I could be Elizabeth in the Wild West like in “Pemberley By Stage“ by Natalie Richards!
Or 1960s Elizabeth from “You Don’t Know Me” by Beau North.
How cute is Tippi Hedrun’s outfit in this? I love it.
But was vetoed by my mom and sister, who both said no one would know who I was and thought me walking around with the book and explaining it wasn’t the best idea. I just resolved to wear something nice when my sister said to check out the costume box for my Charles Dicken’s Day dress.
So back in 8th grade my school used to do Dicken’s Day. Everyone had to dress up in historical costume, we had to sign up to bring a historical meal, decorate the Youth Hall across the street in Victorian Christmas Decorations, have a “secret santa” we made a historical gift for, etc. We usually had some kind of performance related to Charles Dickens, whether it was a play, brief performance, songs, etc. I loved it as I love Charles Dickens.
So I needed a dress and my mom was going to make it. We went to Joann‘s, but it turned out they didn’t have the pattern we needed.
(This was back in 2005.) So instead of having a Victorian costume, we had to go with a Colonial pattern that had American Revolution style costumes (late 1700s).
I didn’t even think it would fit, but was surprised it did! It wasn’t accurate-neckline wrong, waist, etc. (you can read more on how it should be in Dressing the Regency Lady). We ended up joking that I was a poor relation returned from America, that had to wear out of date clothing since I was out West and we didn’t have enough supplies in the colonies to be on the height of fashion.
I wasn’t sure if we would be spending time outside or not, and decided to wear tights and leggings, as I read online that the best way for Regency women to stay warm in the winter is layers and thicker material of clothing. I wanted to wear my boots, but thought my Vikings-inspired fur boots would be too much. (You ever watch that movie Vikings? It is an interesting story), and went with suede lace up oxford shoes instead. I then decided to top it with my capelet I won from MadsenCreations:
The hair was hard as I got up extra early and tried, but could not get it how I wanted. That’s one thing I wished we still had, maids to do hair for you-as I don’t know about you all, but my hair has a mind of its own.
After failing again and again, I decided to go with Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park (2007) as not only would I be matching the Opera, but I owned a straw hat.
I have to say, I may not have been accurate, but I was very pleased that I was able to throw something together so quickly.
I borrowed a reticule from MadsenCreations, grabbed a few essentials-and we were on our way!
During intermission, they decided to hold a Regency Fashion show and contest. Now I knew I had zero chance of winning. During the first workshop, Gowns and Groans, I noticed two ladies down the row who were in perfect Regency clothes they had made themselves.
I knew they were probably going to win. But I wanted to join in anyway.
Right at intermission I got in line and we waited a while for the other ladies. Unfortunately, a lot of ladies went straight to the restroom and got caught in the long line to use the restroom (there was only two stalls) or get snacks. I enjoyed the wait for the contest (and didn’t mind the bathroom one too much) as I spent that time talking to other Janeites. There are no words to describe being with other fans.
And we spent the time waiting, talking about Jane Con and Jane Austen.
Everyone I spoke to loved Modesto Jane Con. Some had planned to come, some where in the area, and some just spotted it on social media and decided to attend on a whim.
I ended up being the first in line for the fashion show, but I wish I had waited. I had no clue what I was supposed to do-while the other ladies had more time to think and copy the spin I did and show their outfits off more. I didn’t win (one of the ladies I thought would win did), but I had a whole lot of fun. So did all the other ladies who I spoke to. It was nice that we all got acclaim for our efforts, even if we didn’t win first prize.
They also gave a prize to a woman who dressed up as Steampunk Elizabth Bennet. It was very cool.
Like every other part of Jane Austen, I had a ton of fun, enjoyed every minute, and can’t wait until next year!
So I had to take a break from finishing my review of Modesto Jane Con, as we had Valentine’s Day posts and some other things, but now I am ready to finish reviewing Modesto Jane Con.
So if you have been following me on social media, you know I have been super excited about Modesto Jane Con. The past eight years I have seen pictures from different Jane Cons and festivals and wished I could go-but they were not possible for me to attend as it always came down to a problem of time, money, work, etc. Instead I had to be content with seeing pictures on social media.
But then Modesto Jane Con was created!
From January 10th-12th there were all kinds of workshops, activities, movies, an opera, and even a fashion show!
Your $30 ticket allowed you to attend the workshops (BOTH DAYS) and see one showing of Mansfield Park Opera (your choice of Saturday or Sunday).
That was it, I was going! And I convinced my book club + my sister to join me. I scrounged around for a costume (I’ll post on that later) and made sure to bring a notebook to take copious notes on the workshop and opera to-of course post on them later (as I am now).
So after Dressing the Regency Lady, we had about an hour and fifteen mins before the Mansfield Park Opera pre-show talk by Hillari DeSchane. We checked out a few things and had lunch, and then headed to the Opera.
The building was really cool as it was a classic theater showing old, foreign, & independent films that also hosts concerts & events. It has a snack bar that serves popcorn, wine, soft drinks, and espresso. I really wanted tea, but it didn’t serve any. Oh, well…
So quick review of the book, for those of you who might not have read it. Mansfield Park is the story of Fanny Price, a sweet kind girl-niece to the Bertram family, who was sent to stay with the Bertrams. Instead of being treated as family, she is seen as “lesser” because of the “bad blood” inherited from her father who her mother “married down” to.
She is particularly mistreated by her evil aunt, Mrs. Norris, and two cousins; all of which take pride in bossing her around and being as cruel as can be. Fanny is the essence of sweetness, taking this injustice in stride and trying to remain optimistic in a bad situation.
The life of the Bertrams are interrupted when a Mr. Henry Crawford and Miss Mary Crawford come to visit their half-sister Mrs. Grant. Mary is set on winning the eldest Bertram, but finds her interest captured by the younger brother, Edmund,-even though he is intent on being a minister and Mary finds religion hypocritical. Fanny has loved Edmund since she was young, but he has never thought of her in such a way and he is now completely captivated by Mary. Henry Crawford’s sole interest is to upset the apple cart by going after the Bertram sisters for sport, having no intent of being serious or facing any consequences. Will the Bertrams and Fanny survive this?
That is not good,
The Mansfield Park Opera was a part of the Story into Song Literacy Initiative and worked with a lot of literacy advocacy organizations, (such as the Becoming Jane Austen Book Club, Modesto Library, Modesto Friends of the Library, and more) and half of the cast are making their solo professional debuts. Pretty amazing!
HillariDeSchane is a JASNA life member and a board member of Opera Modesto. Her pre-show opera talks have become audience favorites. DeSchane’s first Regency pet cozy: A Christmas Tail: A Regency Holiday Mystery received a Certificate of Merit from the Cat Writers Association hillarideschane.com
So the program gave a copy of the full talk, but I’m not going to write it word for word. I’ll just write my notes and paraphrase a bit.
So taking a book as long and complex as Mansfield Park and cutting it down to a two-hour opera is no easy feat. Mansfield Park is a “tapestry of human emotion and psychology.” (Deschane).
In the opera they strip the book down to the central theme and a small number of characters. The story is told as a chamber opera, more intimate-like a theater in the round. The opera itself is group centered, with no arias or being solo based.
The opera also focus on the theme of “The Fall of Man” and the “Expulsion from Eden.” Mansfield Park is Eden, a paradise, and each character is tempted by their own personal snakes, with many falling victim to their pleasures and “biting the apple”.
As seen with the recent TV show Sandition, there are many who think Austen needs to be sexier and steamier but truth is-they just need to remake Mansfield Park as it has it all: gambling, drinking, seduction, adultery-just full of thse vices without modern additions.
We really see the focus of this motiff in Scene 5: Chapter Five. In the Wilderness. Here they explore Mr. Rushworth’s home in Sotherton, where they walk a “serpentine path”. Henry offers to explore with Maria Bertram while her fiance is gone, tempting her with the two being alone together, even singing “how tempting those pathways that lie hidden-how much sweeter are the joys we are forbidden.” Edmund is given the choice to wait with Fanny while she rests from the walk, or to go off with Mary alone-and he walks off with Mary forgetting all about Fanny on her own.
The ending was changed to be more happily ever after for all, (in the novel people have to face the consequences of their actions), but I didn’t mind too much.
So the ten characters we have are:
Fanny Price (Alexandra Jernic)
Edmund Bertram (Andrew Pardini)
Mary Crawford (Angela Yam)- Professional Opera debut
Henry Crawford (Emmanuel Mercado)
Maria Bertram (Darby Schmidt)-Professional Opera debut
Julia Bertram (Brylan Finley)- Professional Opera debut
Mr. Rushworth (Luca Mitchell)- Professional Opera debut
Aunt Norris (Alison Collins)
Lady Bertram (Anakira Gabriella-Graça)
Sir Thomas Bertram (Brad Reed)- Professional Opera debut
From The Modesto Bee. Left to Right: Lady Bertram, Sir Thomas Bertram, Fanny Price, Henry Crawford, Mary Crawford, and Edmund Bertram.
There is no Tom, although he is mentioned, and sadly no William Price who I love. Oh, well.
So the opera was AMAZING! As I mentioned in an earlier post the group of us who came varied in our knowledge of Mansfield Park. One book club member had never read or seen a film version of Mansfield Park (or any Jane Austen beside The Darcy Monologues), one book club member had seen the 2007 film version, my sister had seen the 2007 version and the 1999 version years ago, and I had read the book and seen the 1999 film, 2007 film, & the 1983 miniseries. However, all were able to follow the storyline and completely comprehend and bcome fully involved in the story.
We all loved the music and found everyone to be entertaining, talented, amazing, and that they completely captured the characters they were portraying.
Fanny was perfect! She had an amazing voice; along with perfect facial expressions. I’m not a big opera fan (as in I don’t watch them all the time), and this was my first time attending one, but one thing I have noticed when I’ve seen the films or clips of Operas is that they don’t always focus on the acting-more on the singing. Alexandra Jernic was spot on. The way she looked at Edward when singing, as if they were the only ones in the room. The incredible sorrow when seeing Edward and Mary together and knowing his preference for Mary over Fanny. Or the ball scene when all are happy and excited for what the night will bring, but Fanny who all this is supposed to be for her, but she is sad and alone as her love is excited to dance with another.
Mrs. Norris was just as perfect. You hated her as immediately-every time she sang and the way she acted toward Fanny, I don’t know if there has been a better one.
Mr. Rushworth was wonderful. He was kind caring, goofy, hilarious. It amazed me that he was only 18 when he was so talented.
Another thing I really enjoyed about the performance is that each character had their own distinctive music, tone, and speed. For instance Mr. Rushworth’s was fast and quick, just like how his character spoke in the book and sang-while Henry’s music was slower, softer, more seductive.
We also loved seeing the costumes and how they looked on the performers, as in an earlier workshop we saw the swatches. We also kept an eye out for Kristine Doiel’s favorite dress of the production, the gray number that Mary Crawford wears in Scene 5: Chapter Five. In the Wilderness. It was originally worn by Anne de Bourgh in the Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. I tried to get a good picture, but this was all I got:
But the one who stole the show for me was Angela Yam, Mary Crawford.
Every time she entered the stage all my attention went to her. She had an amazing voice and was equally amazing in her acting. One of the best scenes was when she and Edward first see each other, the way she doesn’t sing anything other than hello, but her whole body language is changed. The rest of the scene continues in the way she acts and looks. It was fantastic. That continued throughout the whole Opera as she was able to convey sooo much in her tone, a look, a motion. I was surprised this was her debut as she just blew me away. I stopped taking notes as I just wanted to enjoy her performance.
We had to leave after the opera and head home, but we did all the way humming, singing, and talking about how much we enjoyed it.
It was a wonderful experience and I am so happy to have been able to watch it. If I could have, I would have stayed the next day and watched it again.
But I wasn’t quite sure about this shirt as I am not a big orange fan (it’s just not my color). However, I loved this as it was extremely comfortable, although a bit shorter than I would like. I wear it with trousers or leggings.
The second item I was super excited about. It was a Maroon Fleece Caplet. A short capelet with a matching floral printed ribbon.
So I don’t know how many of you have read this book, TheGuernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but I did and loved it! I was so excited to win this capelet as Juliet wears one in the book. The movie changes a lot of things, one of which is Juliet’s outfit. In the book she wears a red capelet when she goes to the island, so that the society members know who she is (kind of like a red rose on a blind date). In fact, she almost loses her nerve and flings it overboard, but decides to continue and of course has a wonderful time and adventure.
This past Christmas we had Santa Claus, Queen Elsa, and Princess Anna come into the library, and I of course wanted to wear something Christmas-y. I decided to wear the capelet and everyone loved it! They all thought it was supposed to be a play on Anna’s costume.
Since then I have worn this multiple times and everyone compliments me on it and I love it! It is beautiful, wonderfully constructed, warm, and a great accessory to any outfit. It has become one of my favorite things to wear.
You should defintely check her site out for what she has, and if there is something you’d like that she doesn’t have-she also makes custom items.
Plus, you can get 10% off anything you order by entering the promo JANEAUSTENRUNSMYLIFE, the last day to use it is 2/29/20. Don’t miss out.
So a while back I told Christina Boyd this regency story idea I had to pass onto her writers. A regency group of ladies and gentlemen, maybe make them married or related so they could be together, traveling by coach and solving mysteries. A regency Scooby-Doo.
She politely declined and suggested that I should check out the Carrie Bebris’ Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery series. I told her I would think about it, but I wasn’t too keen on the idea.
I then decided to take a break, and went on reading and reviewing other things.
In July, every other day I asked a question on Instagram about Jane Austen characters and themes, such as what fashion from the Regency Era do wish we would be brought back, who had the best fashion, etc. One question I asked was what book adaption do you wish would be turned into a movie or a TV show? On thing I suggested was this series, even though I had only read two books, as I think the idea behind it was very strong.
But I resolved this year that I would somehow factor in reviewing a mystery every month, so there is no time like the present to review this.
Mystery, you say?
So here we go.
North by Northanger (Or the Shades of Pemberley) [Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery #3]by Carrie Bebris
So in the last book, Elizabeth found out she was pregnant and it is nearing her time. This is a joyous and strained situation, as the Darcys are pleased but at the same time Mr. Darcy is scared out of his mind as his mother died in childbirth.
But childbirth isn’t what is foremost on Elizabeth’s mind. You see Elizabeth is sensitive to the supernatural and is convinced that Pemberley has a ghost, and not just any ghost…Anne Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s mother.
Elizabeth doesn’t feel as if Anne is vindictive or angry, but feels her presence nonetheless. She has lived the year with everything exactly how it was, but has decided that the time has com to start doing things how she wants it.
She decides to shift the writing desk from its corner so that she can look out the window. After some hemming and hawing with the footmen they do, and a letter falls out. A letter from Anne Darcy to Elizabeth!
20 January 1796
Dear Mrs. Darcy,
Should this letter reach your eyes, it is because I no longer live to deliver its message in person. I know not who you are-what name you bore before taking that of Darcy. I know only that by addressing this letter to you, I write the woman who has wed my son. For that reason alone I entrust to you the stewardship of something most precious…I had at Fitzwilliam’s birth a…an heirloom from my own mother-I want it now, but it has become lost. If only I could find it, I would trust that I will be safely delivered. But I hid it too well, beyond my own reach. You-you must look if I cannot, for I want you to have it when…If you are my niece, my namesake Anne, know that I guarded myself from my sister, not from you-…Search for me…My daughter, the only one I may ever have, start with the knowledge that love conquers all. I am-
Unfortunately, this letter, dated on Georgiana’s birthday and Lady Anne’s death day, only strengthens Darcy’s fears. It, however, baits Elizabeth’s curiosity. What was the object? Why couldn’t Lady Anne find it? Where is it?
We move along a few weeks where Elizabeth and Darcy have been visiting the Bingley’s for their youngest’s christening. However, they are in a hurry to leave as Lydia and Wickham have dropped by unexpectedly.
Elizabeth shares the contents of the letter she found with Jane, and Lydia overhears them mention a treasure, which Elizabeth strongly dissuades her of.
That’s not good.
The talk then turns to babies, of which Lydia is bored of. Of course, I don’t expect Lydia to ever have children, as if she has a baby she won’t be the baby anymore.
They are headed home by way of Bath, to meet the famous Dr. Severn, the man Darcy wants to have assist Elizabeth in her birth. He supposedly is the best in the nation, and very hard to get. They reach Bath and as they are about to take in the sights they run into an unexpected visitor. Lady Catherine.
Lady Catherine and Anne are there to take the healing waters for Anne. Lady Catherine is more civil as Elizabeth is carrying the future heir to Pemberley, but still bossy, judgemental, and of course loves to give advice and hear her own voice.
They also receive a note from a Mr. Tilney.
No, not that Mr. Tilney- Captain Frederick Tilney.
I know. I was so disappointed. I want MY Mr. Tilney!
I want MY Mr. Tilney!
Bath, 6 October
Dear Mr. Darcy,
My discovery of your name in the Pump Room book prompts me to write. Though we are strangers to each other, I believe our families are acquainted. My late mother, Mrs. Victor Tilney, enjoyed the friendship of one Lady Ann Darcy, whom I believe to be your mother.
Though I understand Lady Anne has also passed away, I would take great pleasure in meeting her son. Unfortunately, my military duties obligate me to depart Bath this very day. However, I plan to return to my country home in Gloucestershire by 18 October, and shall remain there for some time. I would consider myself honored to receive you and Mrs. Darcy at Northanger Abbey as my guests for a se’nnight whenever you make your return to Derbyshire.
I hope your response names the date upon which I will enjoy the pleasure of your company. I am
Yours most sincerely,
Captain Fredrick Tilney
I still want my Mr. Tilney Carrie Bebris. I am intrigued, but wil be sorely disppointed and unhappy if MY Mr. Tilney doesn’t show up.
Anyways, the Darcys are also intrigued and decide to go visit on their way home.
Elizabeth visits with Lady Catherine and does not have a good time, it made even more when Lady Catherine tries to send Darcy to France to go after his troublesome cousin. He sends his solicitor and the Darcys visit with Dr. Severn which should be called Dr. Severe or Dr. Ima Rude Jerk. He is an awful misogynist and just all around horrible and we all should hate him-except Darcy is still wowed by his education and success rate, getting him to agree to come to Derbyshire instead of Elizabeth giving birth in London.
[Sarcastic] Big whoop
Eventually they leave Bath, and head to Gloucestershire but find it not as impressive as Catherine did.
The weather is cold, gray, dismal, and stormy. The servants are strange and act like no servant they have ever known. They are given the late Mrs. Tilney’s rooms which haven’t been used in ages and there is jewelry and all her stuff in it. Their servants have disappeared and the housekeeper has no knowledge where they are, the food gross, their host never appears, the halls are cold and drafty, and the Darcys want to leave but are forced to stay the night.
After dinner, the housekeeper takes them to their host and the Darcy’s see a very bandaged, fat man, with only one eye and his mouth are exposed.
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Okay, I know that wealthy people gained weight with the food they eat-but a narcissist like Fredrick Tilney? There is no way you can convince me he is fat. I’m sorry but I don’t believe it. This can’t be him. Something is afoot in this Abbey, I just don’t know what…
Tilney, (if he is Tilney which I remain unconvinced), apologizes for not being able to greet them or sit at dinner. He has no qualms that the rooms are full of things and thoroughly questions grills them about Lady Anne, her friendship with Mrs. Tilney, and if they have any correspondence.
The Darcy’s are completely flummoxed as they didn’t even know of the friendship let alone bring anything with them.
Captain Tilney talks really weird. I mean he is only in the book Northanger Abbey for a little bit, but this feels all wrong. I’m not the only one who feels it, as Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves feeling extremely weirded out by everything and they decide to leave ASAP.
The next morning they leave, carefully maneuvering themselves out of any faux pas. They find their servants-who had taken ill (sounds like were slipped a Regency mickey)-and then a trunk disappears and it takes forever for it to be located. Finally they leave, Mr. Darcy with his cane and off they go without another thought of this strange side trip, sure to be a weird story to be shared with friends.
Or is it?!
They stop for the night and then are com upon by a constable, as they were sent an anonymous note that the Darcy’s stole jewelry and riches fom the Tilneys. They then are both arrested for theft.
What???!!!!!!!! But he’s Mr. Darcy??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OMGoodness what is happening right now?
Th constable searches Mr. Darcy’s cane and finds it opens up and reveals that it has the Tilney jewels in it.
First of all-that is so cool. I want a cane or umbrella with a secret compartment, or one where you take it apart and it is a sword that would be so cool. With a wolf’s head on it like in The Wolf Man (1941).
And second WHAT THE HECK? ARRESTED? JAIL? THE DARCYS??!!!
Darcy tries to convince them it isn’t his cane but one that looks like it as his cane has an imperfection in the grain-this one does’t it is a replica, but they don’t believe him.
They then return to Northanger Abbey to speak to Captain Tilney about everything and when they reach the Abbey they see that Captain Tilney is not there but Mr. Tilney arrives, the Henry Tilney, MY Mr. Tinley.
And we get the giant bomb…you see the Darcy’s want Captain Tilney to share what happened that night, but eh can’t. He’s dead.
And that’s not all. Fredrick’s been dead for a while.
And that housekeeper they met? She doesn’t exist. She matches no description of any housekeeper that has ever been employed there and the most recent housekeeper was fired six weeks ago.
And the house has been shut up for a while.
What is going on???
Okay, here I was undeniably hooked. I had to finish this story. Not only has Mr. Tilney entered the picture but we are in a serious web.
Or is there a human trying to frame the Darcys?
And sidenote, is it horrible that after I got over the shock of Captain Tilney being dead, I kind of thought it was cool that Mr. Tilney would have Northanger Abbey. Does that make me a horrible person? I mean, I didn’t think that right away…it was after.
The local magistrate is being a bit of a jerk, enjoying the power he has over someone like Darcy and won’t release him. Darcy sends word to his solicitor, who unfortunately has been sent to France to take care of his cousin, but Elizabeth does the only thing they can do to free Darcy. Call the one person who no one could ever be able to go against.
No, no, no, no, no, not her.
Lady Catherine comes, throws her weight around, and this guy is no match for her. She gets Darcy released and he’ll be back later for the trial. But unfortunately, Darcy isn’t just released he is released into Lady Catherine’s care and she is coming to Pemberley with them.
They are about to head home when Mr. Tilney comes back, yay! I was worried that he was only going to be in there for a moment. He apologizes for his behavior, and said that he let his grief, anger, and hurt get the best of him. He thought over what they said and realized that he does remember the Darcy name, as his mother was friends with a Mrs. Darcy and she provided great comfort in her life with his tyrannical and vampirish father.
He remembers meeting her once and knowing what he does of her and their estate, he can’t imagine that Darcy wold act this way and steal. He also found the “true” walking stick of Darcy’s.
Darcy shows them the letter they received from Captain Tilney and it is dated the day before he died in his own hand. However, when Tilney questions the Darcy’s the man could not be Fredrick (as he was dead on that date) but also the eye was the wrong color.
So who did this and why? What was their scheme? If they wanted the jewels why hide them in the walking stick? What could they have gained from delaying the Darcy’s and getting them caught up in this? Just trying to ruin their good name?
What is going on?
Tilney tried to get the lawsuit dropped, but the magistrate is just salivating over this and he will not do so. Ugh.
The Darcys leave for Pemberley, while Mr. Tilney plans on remaining at Northanger and continuing the investigation there and getting the estate handled. The two plan to keep in constant contact.
What? What? Where is Catherine? Why are they leaving? How come Tilney isn’t in the book more? NOOOO, why are we leaving Northanger…will we ever see him again?
BUt BUt BUt I Want more Mr. Tilney Wah, wah, wah…
Sorry I’m over it now. So Lizzy, Darcy, and Lady Catherine return to Pemberley and find it polluted. Yes a pest infestation has taken root since they have been away. A giant rat called Wickham.
What the HECK??!! Why would he even think to do that. I don’t know if Wickham is brave, audacious, or just plain stupid.
Lydia immediately accosts Elizabeth for money, and Darcy catches Wickham with a servant girl, Jenny. Not the welcome home they had wished for. Although, their presence does make Lady Catherine disappear to her bedroom. LOL.
Elizabth finds living with Lady Catherine to be extremely difficult, no surprise there, and tries to find ways of coping that do not include her starting a regency fight club or throwing her hot tea at Lady Catherine. She instead goes for walks, visiting Lady Anne’s garden, Our Lady’s Garden.
The next morning is All Hallow’s Eve and the gardner always leaves flowers on the graves. Elizabeth sees his shadow and head down to the collect the bouquets, dropping them off, only to discover that after she completes the task that the gardner had never made the bouquets, he was just about to. He laughs it off that it must be an assistant who readied them, but it gets Elizabeth thinking. Was it an assistant? Or a GHOST??
Meanwhile, Elizabeth has been curious over the correspondence with Mrs. Tilney and thought maybe there would be a clue to help find the missing heirloom. She asks for the correspondence to come downstairs from the attic, and discovers that there are NINE trunks!
OMGoodness, I have one “memory box” my grandma gave me, and when it gets too full I go through it and recycle the cards or toss them out. It is a small box I can’t imagine having nine!!
Elizabeth reads the letters and finds the ones of Lady Anne and the late Mr. Darcy’s courtship “Love conquers all” being their phrase.
They have the yearly Harvest Feast, and Elizabeth develops a slight nosebleed. The local midwife helps her, and talks to her about Lady’s Anne’s last pregnancy. She reveals that the object Elizabeth is looking for is a small Madonna and Child ivory statuette.
Darcy finds her and becomes so worried about the blood, calling for the horrible doctor. Dr. Severn’s arrival makes Elizabeth have to clean up her room, and all the trunks are removed without her being able to finish going through them.
The doctor arrives angry that he was called in for a nosebleed and is a pompus jerk who doesn’t care a thing about what Elizabeth thinks, feels, or says.
Later Elizabeth has even more fun talking to Lady Catherine and finds out that the statuette was from back in the day when the family was Catholic. Lady Catherine wants it back, but Elizabeth refuses to give it to her if she finds it, intending to keep it. It is a battle of wits as both are searching high and low, in and out, and all over Pemberley.
Fight, fight, fight!
Elizabeth wants to read Lady Anne’s letter again but it has disappeared. Only later to reappear. That isn’t he only thing that is strange-is Elizabeth just having the pregnancy forgetfulness, is someone sabotaging her, or is there a spirit at play here?
Elizabeth then continues to go through the letters, finding the ones between Mrs. Tilney and Lady Anne. Those were so cute that they almost, ALMOST, but not quite, make up for the fact that there is no Catherine in this book so far. I am sorely disappointed.
Anyways, the letters are just adorable! It turns out that the statuette came from Northanger Abbey. There was a set of ten, but they were hidden when the Church of England came into power. Mrs. Tilney encourages her to visit, and Lady Anne does, bringing the statue. Mrs. Tilney gives Lady Anne a strongbox to put the statue in, but General Tilney is not a happy camper. He does not like that Lady Anne has one, and he wants it, along with the other nine.
That’s not good.
Elizabeth shares her intel with Mr. Darcy and Mr. Darcy has seen the box before. He and Wickham found it years ago, in fact on the day Georgina was born. A box with a key that opens when you move the dials to create the right “password”. Wickham egged him on and they tried to unlock it. They search the fountain where it was years ago, but nothing is there.
They believe that Wickham might have come after it and that means Mr. Darcy must take a journey. Elizabeth stays behind with she and Georgiana comedically hiding the fact that Mr. Darcy has disappeared from Pemberley from Lady Catherine.
So Elizabeth continues to read the letters and learns more on the friendship, intent on finding where could this figurine be? Darcy heads off to find Wickham and still is trying to discover the truth of what happened in Northanger Abbey. Meanwhile, in Northanger Abbey Tilney is trying to solve the case too. When Darcy heads to Newcastle he finds the truth to everything and in a surprise twist, the villains are someone Austen readers should know.
Meanwhile, things continue to be strange in Pemberley. Is there a malicious person? Another member of the scheme? Or an evil spirit?
This was extremely enjoyable and a very good mystery. I loved it.
The only thing that would be better would be if Catherine was in it and if there was more Mr. Tilney!
So today is Valentine’s Day and the end of our postings. I always find this fun to do as we just focus on a romantic moment, which could be found in almost any film. Tradition is to end on an Austen themed film (I broke it once and I’m going to try to never do it again), so here we go with our last one on Austenland (which I have started watching every Valentine’s Day.
I LOVED these books, so when I saw they were making a movie I was so excited!
One day I will review the whole movie, but not today-today we are just focusing on a moment.
Jane Hayes (Keri Russell) is a giant Jane Austen fan.
She decides to get out of the grayness of her life (and love life) and go to Austenland- a Regency inspired getaway where you can pretend to be in an Austen novel, go to a ball, and find you own Mr. Darcy ending.
Things however, do not go as planned. She ends up having the cheaper package and getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop.
She starts to fall for Martin, one of the handymen at the resort, but he ends up dumping her because she is enjoying “their world” too much. (Seriously dude? I’m paying for this vacation-of course I’m going to enjoy it.) Anyways…she decides she is going to take charge of her story and be the best Austen heroine she can be! Will she get her Mr. Darcy? Will she have the vacation of her dreams?
Or will she decide she needs to stop her Jane Austen fascination?
So this moment comes at the end of the film. Jane took back her vacation, and had fun, gained confidence, and fell for Mr. Nobley (J.J. Feild). However, Martin returned (urgh!) and convinced her to join “reality” and she turns down Mr. Nobley’s declaration of love.
She ends her vacation and when she is speaking to Mrs. Wattlesbrook, the resort owner, she discovers that Martin was the actor, not Mr. Nobley. Mr. Nobley was brought in to fill some time while they waited for another actor to finish his series-Nobley was never scripted for Jane, he wasn’t scripted for anyone.
It turns out that what Mr. Nobley said was real, but Jane is so upset with Mrs. Wattlesbrook manipulations (and the fact that she wasn’t even seen as worthy to be paired with a gentleman) she can’t focus on that-made even more so when Martin and Nobley follow her to the airport.
Jane thanks Mr. Nobley and says good-bye, ready to head home and give up on her Jane Austen interest.
When she gets home she expects her friend to be over soon to talk about the trip, a knock does come-but when she opens the door it isn’t her friend-but Mr. Nobley!
He traveled all the way from England to give her-her sketchbook and tell her how much he loves her! OMGoodness!!!
He tells her that he is in love with her! “Could someone like me make you happy?”, and then says the line that makes my heart melt and brain turn to goo-“You are my fantasy”! Aw, it is just so romantic!!! Jane and Mr. Nobley both get their happy fairy tale ending!
Squee! I loved it!
Even more so, I love that this mimics Northanger Abbey, when Mr. Tilney comes after Catherine and tells her that he loves her:
Ad with both characters being played by the same actor, J.J. Feild? It makes my heart go into overtime.