I Watched Sense and Sensibility (1995) With My 12 Year Old Niece

Today’s my blogiversary!

Yay!

8 years of celebrating Jane Austen (and a few other things!)

And to celebrate, I decided to watch + review Sense and Sensibility (1995).

Last year I did a post on what got me first interested in Jane Austen and mentioned this is the first Austen-related thing I was involved in and I wanted to share it with my niece.

The only thing is, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go down or even if she would like it. It can sometimes be hard to get her to watch any of my choices as she doesn’t like “old” films. But we made a deal-every summer when she comes to visit she has to watch at least one of my picks-Back to the Future, The NeverEnding Story, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Indiana Jones, etc.

Not to mention she’s 12 going on thirteen and you know how that can be. Sometimes it is so difficult to get them to like anything. So I was hoping, finger’s crossed, things would go well.

Please, oh please!

Usually when I do a film review-I discuss the actors, costumes, setting, etc-but for this I am just going to put down our thoughts while watching it and then add the rest later. For this I refer to her as “G“.

Okay so here we go…

So the film starts off with Mr. Dashwood dying and having his son John promise that he will help his stepmother and three sisters. The estate is entailed and Mr. Dashwood didn’t plan as carefully as he should have, so the Dashwood ladies will have very little. John does.

We then meet John’s wife-Fanny Dashwood.

Fanny Dashwood is beyond horrible. I think she is the worst of all the Jane Austen characters to be honest. She’s rotten to the core, mean, cruel, doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings, and calls the Dashwoods “not really” family because they are half siblings. She’s one of the characters I wish I could reach into the book and slap silly.

I come from a blended household’s family. So my niece and I both agreed-We hate her!

That movie

“G: Aw look at the puppy. It’s so cute.”

Fanny and John move into the house and Fanny brings a dark cloud with her as she disrupts the household, is rude, mean, and we don’t like her.

Marianne is playing the piano, such sad music as she is grieving…you know the part

Elinor Dashwood: Marianne, can you play something else? Mamma has been weeping since breakfast. [Elinor exits; Marianne switches to a dirge. Elinor from the other room] I meant something LESS mournful.

My niece said-

G: “Let them weep-she is probably weeping at my greatness in playing piano.”

Fanny invites her brother Edward to visit at Norland Park, upsetting the household and rooms as Fanny wants him to have the best. They want to hate him, but he’s too likeble and the Dashwood ladies quickly grow to like him.

Edward even endears himself to the youngest Dashwood sister, Margaret. Aw, he even sword fights with her.

You know I never noticed before, but the library is pretty awesome! I definitely need to add it to my “Best Libraries List“.

So Elinor and Edward grow closer and closer together. Walking, talking, being cute, etc. One particular scene I liked between them was this one.

Elinor Dashwood: You talk of feeling idle and useless. Imagine how that is compounded when one has no hope and no choice of any occupation whatsoever.

Edward Ferrars: Our circumstances are therefore precisely the same.

Elinor Dashwood: Except that you will inherit your fortune. We cannot even earn ours.

Edward Ferrars: Perhaps Margaret is right.

Elinor Dashwood: Right?

Edward Ferrars: Piracy is our only option.

It’s like really dude-we are not the same. My dad died and we have to move and we have no money-and you feel “idle and useless”. That sucks, but don’t compare them.

Seriously

However, Fanny notices this and does all she can to separate them as she doesn’t want her brother with someone as low as the Dashwoods.

John Dashwood sucks. He makes a promise…a DEATHBED promise, and his dad dies and does he fill the promise? NO!

Now I don’t claim to be a wordsmith-but I am proud of this little ditty I wrote while watching this:

“As soon as dad was dead,

and will has been read,

John said,

You girls get no more bread”

Not Shakespeare, but I’m still proud.

The girls are rescued when Mrs. Dashwood’s cousin, Sir John Middleton, offers them his cottage for a reduced rate. Sir John is awesome. Like he is the sweetest guy ever.

How sweet!

He didn’t have to do anything, they aren’t even closely related-just the sweetest man ever. They see the cottage and it isn’t anything like what I think of as a cottage.

“G: That’s a cottage?

I wish I had a little cottage.

This would be hard to go from having wealth, home, and people to assist you, to than be paired down to this. 

“G: They probably have to be servants now, because nothing in life is free.”

[Dashwood sister is brushing Margaret’s hair]

“G: This is how I am when my mom does my hair [G then proceeds to do a tiktok dance]”

So the Dashwoods are asked over to Sir John’s for dinner and they meet his mother-in-law, Mrs. Jennings.

“G: Mom should get a job” [Pause in movie as a explain how that was unlikely.]

Sir John is so sweet that he takes care of his mother-in-law, he could have sent her home. He also invites the Dashwoods over, not just this time-but other times as he knows they don’t have a lot of money and cares for them-wanting them to eat well.

How sweet!

I love Mrs. Jennings, too. She’s nosy, but she is so nice.

Mrs. Jeninngs and Sir John pick up that Elinor likes someone and they try to figure out who Elinor’s beau is. Margaret gives it away that it starts with an F…

And I love the face Marianne gives to Margaret to try and get her to stop talking. Such a sister thing to do.

They meet Colonel Brandon at the dinner and it is Alan Rickman and he is so romantic.

Too bad Mrs. Jennings butts in there with her matchmaking. If she hadn’t said anythong or embarrassed her, maybe Marianne would have been more fond of Colonel Brandon. I mean he has a romantic past, loves music and piano, etc.

Marianne is so furious she can hardly get her bonnet off.

Marianne is definitely not interested as Colonel Brandon is “so old”.

Mrs. Dashwood: If Colonel Brandon is infirm then I am at death’s door.

Elinor Dashwood: It is a miracle your life has extended this far.

G: Col. Brandon…that’s the guy you like? He’s OLD!

My niece is like Marianne…well maybe, by the time the movie is over, she will like him?

So Edward had promised to visit the Dashwoods after they settled in, all excited for it-but especially Margaret as he will also bring her favorite atlas. However, he doesn’t come but just sends the atlas and a note. All are disappointed-espechially Margaret.

Poor Margaret, I never thought about it until I watched the film this time-but poor, poor Margaret she has just been disapointed by man after man. Her father died, her brother John sucks, now Edward was supposed to come visit and he disappointed her too.

So one afternoon Marianne and Margaret go for a walk…

Marianne: I’m taking you for a walk.

Margaret: No, I’ve been a walk.

Marianne: You need another.

Margaret: It’s going to rain.

Marianne: It is NOT going to rain.

Margaret: You ALWAYS say that and then it ALWAYS does.

[G laughs]

Margaret wasn’t kidding, it rained and it rains hard.

Marianne is running and hurts her ankle. They are soaked and Margaret is freaking out when Willoughby comes riding up on a white horse and carries her home.

“G: I thought you said Willoughby is bad.”

“Me: You’ll just have to watch the movie.”

Willoughby looks so dashing in his coat and on his horse. Margaret and Marianne are in awe.

Wow!

I love how Elinor instantly becomes Marianne’s wingwoman and finds out the name of the “mysterious” stranger.

[after Marianne has first met Willoughby]

Elinor Dashwood: Marianne, you must change. You will catch a cold.

Marianne: What care I for colds when there is such a man.

Elinor Dashwood: You will care very much when your nose swells up.

Marianne: You are right. Help me, Elinor.

[G laughs.]

I love that part so much!

So with Marianne recuperating, Sir John comes to visit. I love how the ladies try to pump him for information but all he knows about is Willoughby’s hunting score and the dogs he owns. Such a man!

Such a man!

Colonel Brandon comes to visit Marianne and she is such a jerk. She doesn’t care at all for the beautiful bouquet he brings. I mean Colonel Brandon has his own conservatory, he probably gave her his most prized and rare flowers and she wants Willoughby’s wildflowers he probably stole as he rode to the cottage.

“G: But Colonel Brandon is so old.”

I don’t know if my niece will ever care for Colonel Brandon. I think she’s just too young to appreciate him.

Marianne just completely ignores him and like doesn’t even look at him during the whole scene.

But Colonel Brandon is just as sweet as ever.

I mean don’t even like flowers as a gift, but I would honor the amazing ones Colonel Brandon had versus Mr. Willoughbys.

Marianne and Willoughby are alone

“G: Gasps.”

In fact they spend a lot of time together-

The day comes and Marianne is expecting Willoughby to propose. Willoughby and Marianne skip church to be together

“G: Gasp, I can’t believe it.”

 

[G sang a few lyrics from marry me]

But Marianne does not get proposed to. Poor Marianne, she is so naive.

After Mr. Willoughby leaves the Dashwood house is all in hysterics, I feel so bad for Margaret. Poor girl, she is disappointed by another man.

Hate men

I love that Elinor drinks tea while everyone is upset and crying.

Mrs. Jennings invites her daughter, Charlotte, and son-in-law, Mr. Palmer to visit.

“G: I feel like I’ve seen him before

Me: He’s Dr. House.

G: OH, yes! I love that show.”

Whenever I watch this I wonder why Mr. Palmer married Charlotte.

Mr. Palmer is so perfect. He is so dry and drool while his wife is like a hen clacking on and on. It makes me think of the song from the Music Man

There is also a Lucy Steele. Lucy Steele zones in on Elinor-she’s like a shark.

I want you!

Lucy reveals that she and Edward are secretly engaged.

What are you talking about??

The girl the guy you like likes is trying to confide in you –awkward

“G: I would have told everybody Lucy’s secret.”

Ouch, this is painful.

Lucy continues to go on and on about her life and story and secret engagement.

“G: I’d be like, I don’t care. Please stop talking to me.”

“Me: Elinor knows everyone’s secrets. They just all feel the need to unload on her.

“G: She’s like Gretchen Weiners”

“Me: That’s why her bonnet’s so big, it’s full of secrets. “

Poor Elinor, to find out the person you are in love with has been engaged for 5 years.

What else?

Mrs. Jennings is the best. She’s so nice deciding to take Lucy, Elinor, and Marianne to a full London season.

“G: London! She can go see Willoughby in London.”

Poor G, she was like Marianne and fell for Willoughby.

In London, Marianne writes to Willoughby a lot, but they don’t hear anything back.

Elinor talks about how they have to see John and Fanny as they are also in London-I’d hate to see their faces ever again.

Colonel Brandon comes to see them, but Marianne is so rude and ignores him.

That’s cold.

They go to a ball and hear of Mr. Ferrars being there, but it turns out to be Edward’s brother Robert. Ugh, Robert is so annoying.

So annoying

Lucy enters the frame-ugh. We don’t like her.

 

G: I would have pushed her in poop.

Me: Like in Back to the Future?”

G: I’d be all ‘Oops I dropped my hairpin’, and knock her over…Or change out her lotion to foot cream.

Me: Yes, Lucy is so Regina George.”

We so do not like Lucy.

Marianne goes to see Willoughby and he disses her in front of everyone. Mr. Willoughby received and threw away every one of Marianne’s letters, ouch.

Lucy is so mean gossiping about the Dashwoods, she is so Regina George.

They leave early and back at the house, I love this scene, Elinor comforts Marianne-it reminds me of comforting my sister when she dated a jerk.

Mrs. Jennings finds out about Mr. Willoughby. It turns out that he is engaged to the wealthy Miss Grey. Ooh, this makes Mrs. Jennings so mad!

Mrs. Jennings goes full mama bear-you hurt my friends I break your face.

Colonel Brandon comes to visit and ask after Marianne, and speak to Elinor.

“G: I hope Elinor doesn’t get with Colonel Brandon”

Colonel Brandon reveals that he has a ward, a ward who has been missing for 8 months. He finally found her and it turns out she is pregnant. She was with Willoughby and he abandoned her. His aunt Lady Allen has refused to leave him anything to punish him (go Lady Allen), and a young man who gambles, has no money, and appreciates the finer things in life-he needed a wealthy wife.

Clearly a Won’tougby

And again, Elinor has collected another secret.

“G: That’s why he is evil! He has a baby and doesn’t care!!! Walks around having kids with people only cares about himself.”

I know. And poor Colonel Brandon, the agony he must have felt worrying about his ward.

 

Later Lucy also comes to visit.

“Mrs. Jennings: Here’s Lucy to cheer you up.”

“Me: She wouldn’t cheer me up.

G: Ugh, you again.”

Edward comes when she is talking to Lucy, I love this scene so much it is so hilarious.

I love Edward’s face in this scene. Such tension-his face is like I want to vomit I wish I could walk back out of this room.

Of course, Edward and Lucy leave together.

G: We don’t like Lucy. We would push her in horse poop if we could

Me: That’s the truth.

G: We would push him [Willoughby] in horse poop if we could.

Me: We totally should.

Fanny can’t stand her sisters-in-law, but agrees to take Lucy with them as she is in need and so much more refined. The two grow close and Lucy decided to reveal her secret engagement. This is my favorite scene.

Lucy: It is a very great secret. I’ve told nobody in the world for fear of discovery.

Fanny: [greedily] I am the soul of discretion.

Lucy: If I dared tell…

Fanny: I can assure you, I’m as silent as the grave. [Lucy whispers in Fanny’s ear; Fanny’s kindly disposition changes abruptly turning against Lucy, enraged and horrified] Viper in my bosom!

[G laughs]

Lucy is sooo lucky Fanny didn’t kill her.

G: Mrs. Jennings ran all the way to spill the tea.

Mrs. Jennings was up early and she finds out what happened and how Edward refused to break up the engagement and lost his inheritance.

Col B is so romantic! He comes to Elinor and gifts Edward his church and “a living” so he and Lucy can get married.  So sweet.

How sweet!

“G: Colonel Brandon is so old….You know, I would never name my future daughter Lucy now.

Yes she has ruined it.

Colonel Brandon is the only man who doesn’t disappoint in this film, him and Sir John.

Soooo cute!!!!

The girls are on their way home when they stop at the Palmers, not too far from Willoughby’s house. Marianne decides to take a walk, even though Elinor attempts to dissuade her.

“Marianne: It shall not rain.”

“G: Don’t you remember last time?”

But it does rain, and Marianne gets stuck out there-this time saved by Colonel Brandon.

Aw, Colonel Brandon carries her all the way from the field to the Palmer’s house. I think it was even farther than Willoughby and therefore he is stronger and better than Willoughby.

“Elinor: [To Mr. Palmer] Marianne needs a doctor”

“G: Good thing he is one. [Laughs]

Me: Let me grab my cane and pull out the whiteboard.”

Colonel Brandon: What can I do?

Elinor Dashwood: Colonel, you have done so much already…

Colonel Brandon: Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad.

He’s so romantic!

They are bloodletting her, she’s so sick.

“G: Gasp, OMG!”

Watching this scene again makes me realize how serious it was when Jane got sick. It makes you realize Mrs. Bennet could have killed her.

Colonel Brandon had left to fetch Mrs. Dashwood, and we he returns the worst is over. Aww, Marianne even thanks him

Back at Barton Cottage, Margaret has a new treehouse. I wonder who built it for her? It had to be Sir John or Colonel Brandon

Marianne and Colonel Brandon visit together, he reading aloud to her. They are so cute!

“G: [He’s] So old compared to Willoughby”

This is one of my favorite scenes!

[after a reading of Spenser’s The Faerie Queen]

Marianne: Shall we continue tomorrow?

Colonel Brandon: No, for I must away.

Marianne: Away? Where?

Colonel Brandon: That I cannot tell you. It is a secret.

So romantic!!!!! So much expression in his face when he realizes she wants him to stay.

How sweet!

“G: He needs to be gone long.”

Later the Dashwoods learn of the wedding. Lucy Steele, now Ferrars, sent her hellos.

“G: Ew Lucy”

We don’t like Lucy!

Then Edward comes and everyone is awkward and surprised to see him here. Margaret is so cute trying to full in the awkward silence.

Edward Ferrars: I trust I find you all well?

Marianne: Thank you, Edward, we are all very well.

Margaret: We’ve been enjoying very fine weather. [Marianne nudges her] Well, we have.

Edward Ferrars: Well, I-I’m glad to hear it. The roads were very… dry.

They leave Edward and Elinor, and I love how he proposes as she cries.

Double Wedding!

“G: Colonel Brandon and Marianne, NO!”

Well…there is hope her thoughts will change when  she’s older.

Willoughby watches the wedding from afar

“G: He has women legs. Never maryry a man with women legs.”

And her final thoughts:

“G: I like the film, but Colonel Brandon is so old. Mr. Willoughby looks better but he has women legs.”

At least she liked it!

For more Sense and Sensibility, go to NovelTea Tins’ Romance Sampler

For more film and TV adaptions, go to Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious (2015)

For more blogiversary posts, go to I Only Read Pride and Prejudice Because I Hated the Keira Knightley Adaptation

Now for the 8th anniversary it is bronze, pottery, or lace. Let’s see what I can find as a gift on here…

From 2012, Lace on Emma’s Wedding Gown

A “Pottery” meme from 2014

Lace on Sabrina Spellman’s Wedding dress in 2015

The Lace on Jane’s wedding dress in 2016

Soon to be!

Bronze Entry to Jerusalem from 2017

Lace from Praying With Jane from 2020

So thanks for the past seven years of awesomeness, and here’s to many more!

Yay!

And a special thank you to all who follow me:

 

Jane Austen-Inspired Magazine Cover Cards

So recently I have been remiss in my correspondence, it has just been getting away from me.

As I was writing to a friend, I was using one of the Silly Austen-Inspired Magazine Cover Cards made by Christina Boyd of The Quill Ink, and I realized that I never did a formal review of it.

So no time better than the present!

So last October/November Christina Boyd starting making these faux Austen-inspired magazine covers. They are beautiful and hilarious! Every time I look at them I laugh at them harder than before.

Bon Ton

Favorite lines on this:

“Diversions:…When Unexpected Handsome Rich Men are Snowbound in Your Country Home…IT COULD HAPPEN!”

We can dream, right?

“Is It Bad Form to Regift Fruitcake?”

I don’t think so.

Gentlemen Magazine

My favorite lines on this:

“The French Fly: Flattering Breeches or Simply Indecent?”

Hahahahaha

“3 Signs Your Lady is Not Into You”

Mr. Darcy needs to read that article, so does Henry Crawford.

Glory Today

Favorite lines on this:

“Which Sister for the Minister?: Choose the Miss Your Patroness Will Approve”

I see Mr. Collins eagerly reading that article.

“Remolding the Vicarage: Shelves in the Closet”

Hahaha…

King & Country

Favorite lines on this:

“Gowland’s Lotion Restorative Claims: Are You Fit to Be Seen?”

Haha Sir Walter Elliot from Persuasion

“I Love the Smell of Black Powder in the Morning: An Interview With General Tilney”

That is so Mr. Tilney

Mademoiselle Magazine

Favorite lines on this:

“Friend or Foe?: Signs She is After Your Man”

Lucy Steele is on it.

“3 Tips to Bring Him to His Knee”

I bet Emma wrote that article.

“Kindness for a Jilted Friend: Where to Bury the Body & Other Words of Solace”

Mrs. Jennings probably wrote that one.

Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues

Favorite lines on this:

“How to Get Killer Legs Without Padding”

Haha I love it!

This should say breeches instead of pants, but I didn’t write this so it gets a pass. It was an instagram answer from a question I asked.

“When Her Eyes Say Yes: The Quickest Routes to Gretna Greene”

This is an issue that Mr. Wickham would pick up.

So these are amazing! And if you love Jane Austen, you’ll love these-and sending them to your Jane Austen loving friends.

If you want them, head over to her Etsy shop TheQuillInk to purchase them.

For more by Christina Boyd, go to Elizabeth-Obstinate Headstrong Girl: Part II, Other Eras

For more Jane Austen stuff, go to NovelTea Tins’ Romance Sampler

Creepy Demon Mask & Haunted Hampstead Heath House of Horrors!

So this year’s theme is “mysteries” in honor of Agatha Christie’s novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles turning 100 years old. To really have this theme be present I decided to review a mystery every month…somehow and ideally connecting it to Jane Austen.

Mystery, you say?

In January, I wasn’t sure what to do when I received a goblin in my mailbox.

It turned out to be a a mysterious package from The Mysterious Package Company

Ah, mysterious

So the first package seemed to be saying that there is something wrong with 27 East Heath Road. The architect, Henry Griggs, had been going crazy trying to finish building the house, after his wife died-using all his money. He even felt as if something was there making him continue, something altering his plans, something controlling him. The house was almost complete, but Griggs has descended into some kind of madness. He ends up putting his daughter in an orphanage and Griggs disappears, presumed dead.

Then in the second package, the house is sold to Dr. Elliot, a physician who likes to experiment on himself with his tinctures.

He has a strange patient, Beth Siggers (could it be ElizaBeth Griggs?) who acts off in his home. He also starts seeing something in his mirror. He died from overdose…or murder?

Hmm…

Then the house was bought by magician’s assistant, Héléne Ashworth and her magician husband The Great Goodyear, Claude Goodyear. They found out about it from her friend, Lilibeth. Helene loves the house, espechially the conservatory as she can grow all her plants. But then strange things happen-other plants are being planted, she starts having trouble remembering, she feels a presence in the house, and she thinks she sees something. She starts searching and dies of fright…or was she murdered?

Hmm…

So now for the third package.

This didn’t come with too many things:

  • A wooden box that says Elise Face Cosmetiques (the company Héléne Ashworth ordered her stage makeup from)
  • A demon mask
  • An article “Haunted Hampstead Heath House of Horror!” from Grime News
  • A letter from Elizabeth Griggs
  • A “bloody” hatpin
  • Three photographs
  • The blueprints to Griggs’ Estate

So when I got this package the first thing I had to look at was what was in the box-the big thing under the letter and photographs. It was this big, creepy, demon mask thing.

Since then I have put it back in its box as I have no clue what to do with it. It is teriffying.

SUPER creeped

Like 1/4 of me wanted to put it on, but the other 3/4 was terrified that if I did my face would change like in that one Twilight Zone episode, “The Masks”.

So creepy. Put it back in the box!

The letter is from Elizabeth Griggs written to her dead father July 29, 1897

Elizabeth Griggs has finally come into her inheritance and has purchased the one thing she has always wanted, the Griggs Estate. It turns out my suspicions were right! She admits that she created these other personas-Beth Spriggs, Lilibet, the “psychic” Mrs. Alizbeta Divak to protect herself. Now Elizabeth is finally herself and has her home.

Elizabeth shares that she was the one who saw the goblin first and received a letter from it, but her father figured out the clues to decoding it. (So the thing must have already been there-the thing that possessed her father.)

Elizabeth loves being in the house although there were a ton of changes made to it after she was sent to the orphanage and she enjoys every minute of rediscovering “her old friend”.

Haunted house!

The newspaper is an article about another murder in the Griggs estate. It was published September 13, 1987.

Last month London was scandalized by two mysterious and bloody deaths, Miss Elizabeth Griggs (24) was putting on her evening dress when a hideous man in a devilish mask and tattered nightshirt came crashing through the mirror.

Elizabeth had been in the middle of setting her hat and instinctively took the hatpin (that’s where the hatpin comes from!!!) and stabbed him in the throat, but even though she attacked him his body falling forward caused her to crash into the fireplace mantle and she died.

As Henry Griggs lay dying he croaked out “Lizzy! It is you!” (So I Was right, he was hiding in the house all along.)

But even though the two are dead and gone there are still some strange noises, banging, ghastly cries, etc. (It lives!)

Ghosts? Demons?

The blueprints are fascinating as the estate is huge with all kinds of secret hatches and passageways, and the secret language I need to decode.

Wow!

The first photograph is of a man in the mask I now own-Henry Griggs. With more secret writing on the back.

Hmm…what does it say?

The second is of a man dead in a car-the doctor, Dr Elliot! On the back it says:

“His last dose

Friday, February, 12 1892”

The third photograph is of a woman on the bed and a figure in the mirror. But if Griggs is taking the photograph-who’s in the mirror?

On the back it says:
She’ll snoop no more

Monday, January 18, 1897″

It’s Héléne, oh poor Héléne.

Okay, so at this point it is time to decode these messages. I must know the truth!

Mystery, you say?

I just spent three hours decoding this when I realize I did’t read all of Elizabeth’s letter. She has the decoder on the back! Ugh.

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHH!!!!!!

I feel so dumb-no I feel like Julie when she didn’t read all the instructions in Jumanji. 

Well at least I feel like an awesome decoder person.

DECODING

So I put the quote of what came before the secret message, and then under in bold the decoded message.

PACKAGE ONE

Forfeiture Notice

“This property was transferred to City Bank, Threadneedle Street, Corner of Finch Lane to be liquidated forthwith.”

YOU CANNOT TAKE ONE AND NOT THE OTHER

Orphanage Records

NO. 324   Surname: Griggs   Christian Name: Elizabeth  Age: 7

School Attendance: Yes

Pecuniary Circumstances: Inheritance  £250 donated as Fees

Date of Admittance: May 1881 Remarks: Trunk, Impertinent

SHE IS SAFE NOW IT CANNOT GET HER

Photograph of Elizabeth and her Father

“Last Day Together”

LAST DAY FOR THIS FACE (That must be referring to Mr. Griggs as he must have started wearing the mask after this.)

PACKAGE TWO

Deed of Land

“Received in full satisfaction by John W. Peterborough, City Bank Partner from Dr. W. Elliot Fifth day of November in the year of our Lord 1888 does give, grant, bargain, sell, and confirm the property of house, gardens, and environs of the entity of Lot 27 East Heath Road, Hampstead Heath, London, United Kingdom—unto the said Dr. Elliot.”

MY HOUSE, NONE OTHER WILL KEEP IT LONG (Uh, oh-that is not good.)

Baldwin’s Physician’s Guide

Extreme Desespoir Eufferfte Verzweifftung

HAVE I SEEN THIS FACE IN THE MIRROR?

The Chimes by Charles Dickens

“Monsters uncouth and wild, arise in premature, imperfect resurrection; the several parts and shapes of different things are joined and mixed by chance..”

“Haunt and hunt him…”

“Bleak his slumbers…”

“he saw this WITH Goblin sight…”

“…saw these creatures, not only among sleeping men but waking also…”

I SEE MYSELF EVERYWHERE

Dr. Elliot’s Tincture

You’ve got the right bottle, Doctor.

SWITCHED THEM (Oh, no! That’s how the doctor died!)

Arsenic Poison

Are You Sure?

DONE

Elise Cosmetiques Label

You think to hide yourself from me?

THEIR LAST PERFORMANCE WILL BE MY GREATEST WORK (He must be talking about when he storms in their psychic reading and scares everyone.)

PACKAGE THREE

Griggs’ Estate Blueprints

There are a huge message and then a bunch of little ones. The big message:

THIS HOUSE TOOK MY WIFE, IT TOOK MY DAUGHTER, IT ENTRAPPED MY SOUL. WILL IT EVER LET ME REST?

Now to start with the rooms

Conservatory

PLUCK THEM OUT. POISON 

Kitchen

THEY ENCROACH LIKE WEEDS

Dining

INTERLOPERS

Bed room

I AM WATCHING

Hallway/stairs

MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE 

Secret Room in Library

WHO IS THE ARCHITECT OF THIS MADNESS

Bedroom

NO ROOM

Bedroom

IN THE WALLS, UNDER THE FLOOR, IN THE BETWEEN, BETWEEN THE SOUL AND THE STAIRCASE

Sunroom

THEY MUST NEVER FIND

Another Secret Room

SANCTUARY

Reading Room

DRIVE THEM OUT 

The photograph of Henry Griggs

WHY DO THEY COME

You must act, again

I’VE WATCHED THEM ALL COME AND MADE THEM ALL GO

You have done well.

AM I A GHOST

Only you know what you are

I HAVE MADE MY OWN FACE

You are what you have become

AM I DANGEROUS

Dangerous? Oh Yes

I AM GRIGGS THE GRINNING GOBLIN THE LOATHSOME FIEND THE GRUESOME PHANTOM YOU AND I ARE ONE

Always

THE ONE WHO COMES AND GOES IS IT MY DAUGHTER

She is the last

IF HER FACE LIES SHE WILL DIE LIKE THE REST

One way or the other, I will be free

And it is time to bring out the Demon mask again, *shudders*.

THEY SEE ME THROUGH YOU

If I was a Winchester I know what I would do with all this stuff:

Salt and burn it

But I on the hand will keep everything, because they are cool. Except for the demon mask, I need to find a new home for it.

For more from The Mysterious Package Company, go to An Insane Doctor, A Hysterical Herbalist, and Murder in a Magician’s Mansion + A Possible Persuasion Reference?

For more mysteries, go to Catherine Morland’s Reading List: House of Salt and Sorrows

For more haunted houses, go to They’re Coming for Me Now…And Then They’ll Come for You: House on Haunted Hill (1959)

 

Interference: Friday Night Lights Meets Emma

Interference by Kay Honeyman

So during COVID19, we have been reorganizing the library. No better time to rearrange shelves than when people are not in the building.

So as I was making the changes and this caught my eye:

Friday Night Lights meets Jane Austen’s Emma in this delightful novel about big dreams, big games, and a little romance.”

Hmm…

So of course Emma, caught my eye as I plan on reviewing every Jane Austen adaption, (I know that’ll take years, but I’m okay with that), and had to check it out. Besides Jane Austen, I’m a big fan of Friday Night Lights. 

So let’s get started.

Kate Hamilton (Emma Woodhouse) and her mother and Congressman father have been sent back to her father’s hometown of Red Dirt, Texas after her public scandal.

It started off as something good…Kate discovered that there was serious graft regarding which kids received letters of recommendation, scholarships, etc, for colleges. She exposed this and changed the practices, but it was a hollow win.

Her boyfriend, now EX, was cheating on her with a senator’s daughter who lost her recommendation, and he secretly took photos of Kate- styling them to look extremely compromising and blasting them on the internet.

So Kate has a plan-she wants to go to art school to be a photographer, but to do that she needs an awesome portfolio and a fantastic letter of recommendation. She decides to find a way to lay low, up her volunteer hours, send them to her old school, get the letter and get out with what she wants.

She espechially wants to get way from her dad as she feels so guilty about what happened, and hates having to always be in “political mode”-all the time. She needs volunteer hours and starts to help her Aunt Celia at her animal shelter.

There she is in the middle of trying to birth a calf, unsuccessfully, when she meets Hunter (Mr. Knightley). He is cute and nice and whenever Kate gets a little too cocky and sure of himself, he is there to help push her on the right track, espechially as he understands the dynamics and politics of the town better than her.

The two end up being paired as science partners and they spend a lot of time together. In fact, they become best friends as Hunter helps her transition to Texas life, and appreciate things without constructing a narrative of doing some political machinations.

Kate quickly becomes friends with Ana-a shy, studious, photographer who helps Kate out with her photography and gets her in on yearbook staff (which gives her access to the darkroom she needs). Kate hates to owe anyone anything and has decided that she is going to help Ana. Ana is adorable, but her ex-boyfriend has given her a bad reputation with the lies he has spread about her.

Kate decides the best way to fix Ana’s reputation is to pair her up with a guy better than her ex-basketball playing boyfriend Hank. Someone higher up the social hierarchy and settles on quarterback, Kyle.

Hunter warns her that Kyle is a serious jerk and that matchmaking Ana and him up is not a good idea, but Kate doesn’t listen.

Kyle is not just the quarterback, but he is also the son of her father’s political rival. Her father wants her to avoid Kyle, as he doesn’t trust him or his father, but she ignores him and sets her plan into serious levels of action.

She hangs out with him a bit, takes photos of him.

This popped in my head when reading it.

Kate has lunch with him and Ana and people begin changing in the way they are acting around her-and after Kyle defends her, things seem to be going great. Kate and Ana even get coveted invites to several after game bonfires.

Kate is super pleased at how things are going and starts to divert her attention to her other plans. Spending time working with her Aunt and seeing how much her Aunt pours into her shelter, she decides to help out by creating a website where people can donate to care for an animal, getting D.C. friends and friends’s parents to give. She also tries to match her D.C. friend Tasha up, over the phone by giving her advice.

Emma 1996 AKA the Gwyneth Paltrow version.

She also works hard on her project with Hunter. But it turns into more than science. He helps her see the beauty of the area, she helps him mend some of his broken relationship with his mom, as said before they become best of friends…thoughts turn to more-but their can’t be as Kate is not interested in anything more after her jerkwad ex.

Except Hunter

But then Kate goes to a party with Kyle and he tries to force himself on her.

She breaks his wrist and takes off in his car crashing in a ditch (she’s only had one lesson). Hunter, worried about her going to a party alone with Kyle, rescues her-but things are looking grim.

It seems like everything Kate does screws up:

  1. Kate’s breaking Kyle’s wrist and crashing his car reflects bad on her father
  2. Everyone in the town hates Kate for costing them the championship game (as they have no quarterback)
  3. Her aunt found out about the website and hates it-yelling at Kate
  4. Kyle treats Kate and Ana like crap (espechially Ana-publicly dissing her [such an Elton], but Hunter helps her out)
  5. Kate gets revenge against Kyle by making mock yearbook pages embarrassing him and she and Ana spread them around the school
  6. Their little revenge plan gets Ana is kicked off yearbook
  7. And Hunter who never wanted to play football ever again (as it is too much pressure) does so to save the team and Kate.

Kate has to figure out a way to fix things and she decides to do the one thing she never thought-she is willingly going to put herself in the front of the camera-and partner in her father’s campaign.

Will Kate be the thing that helps tip the scales in her father’s favor? Will Ana get back on yearbook and achieve her photography dreams? Will Hunter win the big game or choke? And will Kate admit she cares for Hunter or let her fear and insecurity keep her from taking a leap?

So when I was first reading this book I had a hard time. The beginning moves slow and her parents seem checked out. They just leave her alone and don’t seem to care about the trauma she went through with her pictures being posted everywhere. Nothing about that relationship seemed to micmic the one shared by Emma and Mr. Woodhouse.

Hmmm…

But once I reached the middle with Kate and Hunter being best friends, adorable Ana, Kate’s matchmaking…I got invested. 

And then when they got to the hardcore part of Kate taking Kyle down and then her pairing up with her father to take down Kyle’s dad- it became a real page turner.

Tell ME!!!!!

I really liked Kate and Hunter’s relationship, although I think he if he had been a little less vague about Kyle not being a good guy it would have been better. I mean he did try, telling her he heard the way Kyle would talk in the locker room-but with Kate/Emma you can’t be subtle.

From Emma (1996)

I really enjoyed it and how it had the aspects of Jane Austen but still was its own story. Like Clueless, this is a great gateway to get teens interested in Jane Austen and Austen fans will adore it.

For more Emma, go to Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken

For more Emma Woodhouse, go to Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious (2015)

For more Jane Austen adaptions, go to At Legend’s End

For more Friday Night Lights, go to What a Fanatic!

Super Easy Classic Deviled Eggs

It is hot.

So of course when the weather gets like this, tea time must adapt. Yes, even though it is incredibly hot out-I still have my tea time.

Or scones!

But when its hot, I want to eat cool food…like deviled eggs. I love deviled eggs, they always make me feel so fancy.

YUM!

I could eat a whole dozen by myself. They are just so good.

This recipe comes from Son Shine Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika

Directions:

  1. Hard boil the eggs.
  2. Peel and slice eggs lengthwise.
  3. Scoop out the yolk.
  4. Crumble yolks in a medium bowl and combine with the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  5. Use a pastry bag to pipe in yolk mixture. If you don’t have one, take a ziplock bag, pour in the mixture, and cut the tip of the bottom-filling each egg half.
  6. Garnish with paprika, if desired.

These were so good, and will be great for tea time (or snack time). Just so you know, this was extremely hard for me not to eat them all myself.

Stay cool out there everybody! Don’t forget to hydrate.

For more recipes, go to Strawberry Lemonade

For more tea time recipes, go to The Picture of Earl Grey Tea Cookies

At Legend’s End

At Legend’s End (The Teacup Novellas #4) by Diane Moody

So what is the difference between a book based on Jane Austen and a Non-Austen Austen Read for Austen Readers.

Hmmm…

I puzzled over the very same thing reading this book. Where do you draw the line?

Hmm…

For most people it probably doesn’t matter, but for me I have two distinct listings and I’m trying to decide where to place this book.

Hmm…

After a long deliberation, I finally decided that a book goes on the Jane Austen list if they copy parts of the book or try to make it like an Austen novel, while a Non-Austen Read for Austen Readers is not based on the book or copies it, but reminds you of Jane Austen-in themes, certain moments, etc. Typically Non-Austen Read for Austen Readers are books that I enjoy and recommend, while based on Jane Austen books get a harsher critique.

Olivia Thomas is nearing middle age, has been working at bank for most of her life, and feels very stuck. Her best friend is married with children, she has no family, no boyfriend, and she just feels blah.

But one day that all changes with a note from a lawyer. It turned out years ago she helped a man’s loan go through when the business didn’t look as if it would be a sound investment but it did become one, it became extremely profitable and he sold his business, making billions and deciding to give her five million dollars!!!

What?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Olivia is unsure what to do next? She has money, the opportunity to go anywhere, to do anything, etc. The only problem is, what does she want?

Hmm…

She decides to leave and think about her future, staying at the Captain Jonathan MacVicar Inn in Maine. When she arrives, everyone makes a big deal about it as it is a leap year and the Inn has a legend that ever since MacVicar’s fiancé Catherine lost her love on the 29th of February, every 29th of February someone else will.

She ignores it and goes on with her plans. She loves the town and the people in it, endearing herself to many people-so much that she joins the local book club.

One of the townspeople she meets is Trevor Bass, bookstore owner:

“…one of those guys who likes what he likes, disdains what he doesn’t, and isn’t hesitant to speak his mind.”

Yes Olivia is supposed to be Elizabeth and Trevor her Mr. Darcy.

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (1940)

Trevor is described as arrogant, stuffy (monogramed handkerchiefs), and stubborn.

Olivia is outspoken, speaks her mind, headstrong, and obstinate.

And while Olivia at first thinks of Trevor being cold and distant, she discovers she was wrong, as he is kind hearted and the two fall in love. However, a bad fight and a curse is working against them. Will they beat it or will one of them fall victim to the “MacVicar Curse”?

This story was not that good at all. They tried to copy elements of Pride and Prejudice but it is nowhere as good. The two quickly fall in love (like one week), fight (the fight they have is pretty dumb), and then *spoiler alert* they get back together. There is no character development and it just is a blah story.

Moody also tries to dot it with phrases from Pride and Prejudice and it is not enough.

And like almost every female character has a “M” sounding name making it hard to keep straight who is who.

Huhhhhhhh

I would skip it.

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors

For more retellings, go to Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken

For more Jane Austen, go to You Ever Notice That The Gossip Girl TV Show is a Lot Like Persuasion?

Strawberry Lemonade

So you all know how much I love tea:

But unfortunately, not everyone does. Especially most of my nieces. So what to make for a tea party, that isn’t tea?

Hmmm…

How about some Strawberry Lemonade, made from real strawberries?! That sounds great to me! This recipe comes from Allrecipes

Ingredients:

  • 8 Large Strawberries, Halved
  • 2 Tablespoons of White Sugar
  • 7 Cups of Water
  • 1 Cup of White Sugar
  • 2 Cups of Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

Directions:

  1. Place the strawberries in a blender with two tablespoons of sugar.
  2. Pour in one cup of water and blend until the strawberries become juice.
  3. Combine the strawberry juice, 6 cups of water, 2 cups of Sugar, and lemon juice in a large pitcher. Stir until blended.
  4. Chill before serving.

So this was extremely good! I used Meyer’s Lemons and if you do that you want to reduce the sugar as they are sweeter than regular ones. But otherwise it was fantastic and came out a pretty coral orange color.

For more lemon recipes, go to Ginger Cardamom Meyer Lemon Crinkle Cookies

For more drink recipes, go to Skinny Chai Tea Latte

For more recipes, go to The Picture of Earl Grey Tea Cookies