Northanger Abbey Audiobook Narrated by Anna Massey

So I love Northanger Abbey SO MUCH!

Please note that this is being said sarcastically.

So when I saw this audiobook on Overdrive I was excited to give it a listen.

But that joy did not continue with this production.

So I really enjoyed her narration and I liked how she did Mrs. Allen’s voice. It was really well done and had me view her in another way. Take this passage for instance:

“…they[Mrs. Thorpe and Mrs. Allen] proceeded to make inquiries and give intelligence as to their families, sisters, and cousins, talking both together, far more ready to give than to receive information, and each hearing very little of what the other said. Mrs. Thorpe, however, had one great advantage as a talker, over Mrs. Allen, in a family of children; and when she expatiated on the talents of her sons, and the beauty of her daughters, when she related their different situations and views—that John was at Oxford, Edward at Merchant Taylors’, and William at sea—and all of them more beloved and respected in their different station than any other three beings ever were, Mrs. Allen had no similar information to give, no similar triumphs to press on the unwilling and unbelieving ear of her friend, and was forced to sit and appear to listen to all these maternal effusions, consoling herself, however, with the discovery, which her keen eye soon made, that the lace on Mrs. Thorpe’s pelisse was not half so handsome as that on her own.”

I never really thought about this other than Mrs. Allen was a bit vain and both ladies were not really friends, but just trying to one up each other…but hearing the audiobook got me thinking. What if Mrs. Allen’s obsession with clothes isn’t really because she is a vain, silly, or just obsessed with fashion…what if it is to fill something that is missing in her life?

Hmm…?

Having children was very important in the Regency Era, maybe her attention to fashion was what she always had, but became more obsessed with after she never had children. I mean Mrs. Allen’s only consolation to Mrs. Thorpe bragging about her children is she is dressed better than her.

Or my gowns.

However, I didn’t care for her doing Catherine’s voice as she didn’t really make it sound different, but did for Isabella. I mean she tried to show distinction with everyone’s voice but Catherine didn’t sound youthful. All that I could have handled it was the men though, the men were really hard to listen to.

I prefer in audiobooks narrated by women when they don’t try to make “men’s voices” but just read it normally as a lot of times it just sounds silly. I didn’t like Mr. Tilney’s voice, but I really didn’t care for Mr. Thorpe’s voice, I mean I wouldn’t anyway, but it was just so silly and grating. It made it really hard to listen to.

 

It wasn’t horrible, but definitely wasn’t that enjoyable to me. I didn’t really care for it.

Are there any audio adaptions you really care for? Any narrators you recommend?

For more Northanger Abbey, go to Is Emma Jane Austen’s Only Mystery?

For more audiobooks, go to YULETIDE: A Jane Austen-inspired Collection of Stories Audiobook

For more Northanger Abbey adaptions, go to Are You Prepared to Encounter All of Its Horrors?…Let’s Just Say That All Houses Have Their Secrets, and Northanger is No Exception.: Northanger Abbey (2007)

For more Jane Austen adaptions, go to Achy Breaky Heart: Austentatious (2015)

In other news, February usually means it is time for Romance is in the Air: 14 Romantic Moments from Film & TV.

However, I will not be doing it this year.

I just wasn’t inspired this year. I only had 4/14 romantic moments so instead of trying to rush it and try to scrounge up 10 more,  I just decided to not do it this year. I just save it for next year.

If you are looking for something romantic, check out some of the previous years.

I Only Want To Be With You: Romance is in the Air (2013)

Keep On Loving You: Romance is in the Air, Part II (2014)

What I Like About You: Romance is in the Air, Part III (2015)

Good Lovin’: Romance is in the Air Part IV (2016)

How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You: Romance is in the Air, Part V (2017)

The Power of Love: Romance is in the Air, Part VI (2018)

13 Films to Watch on Valentine’s Day If You Are in An Anti-Romance Mood (2019)

I Won the Read the Write Act & Six0Six Design Giveaway + Can’t Fight This Feeling: Romance is in the Air, Part VII (2020)

The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club: Lemon Gingerbread Cake

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). I also need to catch up on these recipes. Week two was Chami Spice Ginger Plum Tea, Dark Chocolate Ginger Scones, Curried Egg Salad Triple Stacks Sandwiches, Turkey-Apple Tea Sandwiches, Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry, and Lemon Gingerbread Cake.

I couldn’t share the recipes in October as I was in the middle of Horrorfest IX, so I am catching up and of course the last thing we have to review is dessert.

This comes from Tea Time Magazine andI actually screwed this dessert up as I thought it was cookies, but realized after I had already started the batter-it is cakelets. Not only did I read that wrong, but it turns out that I did not read through all the directions and did not have all the right supplies. There wasn’t time to go get other ingredients or do another recipe so instead I converted it into a cake, with some substitutions.

From Clueless

Oh, well!

Ingredients Cake Batter:

  • 2.5 Cups of Flour
  • 1/3 Cup of Granulated (White) Sugar
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Ground Ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Tbsp of Fresh Lemon Zest
  • 3/4 Cup of Hot Water
  • 1/2 Cup of Molasses (Or Substitute with Honey)
  • 1/2 Cup of Honey
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Lemon Glaze Ingredients:

  • 4 Cups of Confectioner’s Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
  • 1/2 Cup of Fresh Lemon Juice

Cake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray loaf pan with nonstick cooking spay or grease pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour sugar, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
  4. Add butter, egg, lemon zest, hot water, molasses or the substitute, honey, and vanilla extract.
  5. Beat mixture at low speed for about 30 seconds.
  6. Increase speed and beat for 3 minutes.
  7. Fill pan.
  8. Bake until for 20-30 minutes, continue baking until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cake cool before pouring lemon glaze.

Directions for Lemon Glaze:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and lemon juice until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour over cake.

 

So because this was cooked in a pan instead of the little molds it took much longer to bake. It also was taking a really long time to bake so I ended up cutting the cake a bit so that it would cook faster and throughout. The frosting covered it, so I didn’t end up having to worry too much about the presentation.

Even though I made a few mistakes and this was not as the recipe intended it to be, it was extremely delicious and we all loved it. I had to send the leftovers with home with my friend as I couldn’t have it with me, I’d eat it all up.

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry

For more recipes, go to Turkey-Apple Tea Sandwiches

For more Tea Time Magazine Recipes, go to Curried Egg Salad Triple Stacks Sandwiches

For more Cake recipes, go to Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake

For more dessert, go to Mini Apple Pies

For more tea posts, go to Dark Chocolate Ginger Scones

Why Don’t More People Talk about Mrs. Goddard?

So to be honest, I never really thought about Mrs. Goddard, from Emma, other than she was the woman who ran the home/school that Harriet lives and attends.

Emma 1996 AKA the Gwyneth Paltrow version.

In fact, I never gave her a second thought until a while back I read the book A Visit to Highbury: Another View of Emma.

But when you think of it, Mrs. Goddard is a pretty amazing woman. She is a widow who has managed to not struggle in poverty but become a mistress of a school-not a college or upper education, but a really pleasant place for kids to learn some skills and live and grow.

“Mrs. Goddard was the mistress of a School-not a seminary, or an establishment…where young ladies for enormous pay might be screwed out of health and into vanity-but a real, honest, old-fashioned Boarding-school, where a reasonable quantity of accomplishments were sold at a reasonable price.”

She has a house and garden, feeds the children good food (that in itself is an amazing kindness-think of Jane Eyre and the slop they eat), let them have freedom to play in  the summer, etc. All I could think when reading this was all the horrible girls schools you read in fiction-Jane Eyre’s terrifying experiences, the way everyone bullies and looks down on Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair, the mean Miss Minchin in A Little Princess, etc. I would much rather go to Mrs. Goddard’s than any of those other ones.

I mean Becky is treated horribly for having a mother who was a dancer/actress (often a codeword for prostitute), but her parents were known and married. With Harriet, she doesn’t know who her father is-but she isn’t treated badly or excluded like Becky, at Mrs. Goddard’s Harriet and any girl there can have a happy and pleasant time.

I also think that for Mrs. Goddard this school isn’t just financial security, but for someone who never had children of her own, she can enjoy mothering all these girls.

I just love how in all of Austen’s stories creates all these wonderful characters and makes them so alive. She’s not in the book a lot, but in it enough to appreciate her.

For more Emma, go to Achy Breaky Heart: Austentatious (2015)

For more on Mrs. Goddard, go to A Visit to Highbury: Another View of Emma

For more character studies, go to Right Away I Know I Won’t Like You

The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club: Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). I also need to catch up on these recipes, week two was Chami Spice Ginger Plum Tea, Dark Chocolate Ginger Scones, Curried Egg Salad Triple Stacks Sandwiches, Turkey-Apple Tea Sandwiches, Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry, and Lemon Gingerbread Cake.

I couldn’t share the recipes in October as I was in the middle of Horrorfest IX, so I am catching up and of course after sandwiches we have our sides.

And food to go with.

This comes from Tea Time Magazine. I did change the recipe a bit as I took out the olive salad, I forgot to buy it. Oops!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Sheet of Frozen Puff Pastry, Slightly Thawed
  • 6 (1-inch) Cubes Fotina Cheese
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon of Water

Directions:

  1. Preheat the Oven at 400 Degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Using 2 1/4 inch flower-shaped cutter, cut 12 flowers from puff pastry sheet.
  4. Using a 1-inch round cutter, cut out and discard centers from 6 flowers.
  5. Stack a cutout flower on top of a whole flower and place on a prepared baking sheet.
  6. Repeat for remaining flowers. Press edges together using a fork.
  7. Place a cheese cube in the center of each flower.
  8. In a small bowl, combine egg and water, whisking well to make an egg wash.
  9. Using a pastry brush, brush tops of flowers with egg wash.
  10. Bake until flowers are puffed and golden brown, 10-12 mins.
  11. Serve Warm

These weren’t bad but very cheesy. I think they would have been better if I had put in something with the cheese, the olive spread or basil or something.

But otherwise tea was wonderful.

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Turkey-Apple Tea Sandwiches

For more recipes, go to Curried Egg Salad Triple Stacks Sandwiches

For more Tea Time Magazine Recipes, go to Tea Time Magazine’s Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches

For more sides, go to Tea Time Magazine’s Fotina & Pork Puffed Pastry

For more tea posts, go to Dark Chocolate Ginger Scones

My Week With Jane

When I was in elementary school, my brother was in the army and stationed in Hawaii. We took a trip to visit him, but problems with the plane arose and the flight was delayed for a few hours. This was two years after 9/11 so we didn’t want to leave the airport and instead had to wait.

While we were waiting I noticed a lady across the way waiting with a big paper something. Of course being a curious child, I moved closer to look and saw it was a paper boy. Not a cardboard cutout, but like someone traced a boy and decorated it. I was trying to figure it out, when the lady noticed me looking and told me that it was Flat Stanley. A group of teachers had been reading Flat Stanley and passing him around taking pictures and when one had a friend going to Hawaii she asked if she could take him with her.

Wow!

I thought that was the coolest thing. For those of you who don’t know Flat Stanley is a book in which a boy, Stanley, is flattened by a bulletin board, becoming flat, and goes on a series of adventures. One of them is visiting his pen pal by being mailed in a giant envelope.

All I could think was what a great idea and how cool and fun to be a part of something like that.

Well…

Fast forward to Summer of 2020, everyone is glum about restrictions and most of us are not having fun.

When I saw that the Jane Austen Society of North America: East Washington and North Idaho (JASNA EWANID) was doing a Flat Jane.

Look at that!

After all:

They decided for the summer they would be sending Flat Jane about, she staying with the person who signed up for a week and then moving them onto the next home to visit. They then asked people on instagram if they wanted to sign up and I was like, yes please!

This actually became so popular they made several of them. My turn arrived and I was so excited and couldn’t wait to take her out on adventures.

Tea first!

 

Day 1) Sunday, January 3rd

What a Jane of a day! Today my friend gave me the Jane Austen adaption, Jane in Love by Rachel Givney, and then when I got home I checked my mail and inside was Flat Jane. I am so excited to start all our adventures.

It was great reading the Jane Austen Travel Log and getting to see all the adventures and things people had done. I couldn’t wait to add my own. Sunday I had my niece so I didn’t get a chance to do anything with Jane until later that day.

That night my sister and I did our usual #perioddramasaturdays It was my sister’s turn to pick and she chose Outlander, which I had read the first book but had not seen the TV show. For the occasion I made Blueberry Oat Scones (I’ll share the recipe later), that I had adapted from Plum Deluxe and we had Lavender Flowering Tea.

Flat Jane joined us for tea but declined watching Outlander. She was tired from her long journey from East to West and retired early. She espechially liked seeing the flower created from the tea leaves.

Day 2) Monday, January 4th

Ever since COVID19 Monday night has become Game Night! Jane and I played my new Pride and Prejudice game that I had received for Christmas. She won as I just couldn’t get the exact number to make my remaining half of the couple get to the church. I kept rolling over or under. I was planning to try playing Marrying Mr. Darcy with her, but I didn’t end up getting a chance to. I do plan to review this Pride and Prejudice game soon.

Afterwards, we played a singing board game with my sister, a sort of creating a song to a tune like in Who’s Line is it Anyway? When my turn came up I felt a lot like when Lady Catherine demanded Elizabeth play, as I don’t sing.

It was a fun game and hilarious as the game came with “lyrics” that were just too goofy.

Day 3) Tuesday, January 5th

Tuesday night Jane and I had pizza and watched Strong Woman Bong Soon, a K-Drama I recommend for any Jane Austen fan as it has elements that make me think of Jane Austen’s works.

Sooooo Mrs. Bennet

Jane loved the pizza (she definitely wishes they had that back in Regency England) and I think I swayed her to my line of thinking about the K-Drama…but she might have been humoring me.

Well…

Day 4) Wednesday, January 5th

Flat Jane joined us for our weekly Tea Party/Book Club/Bible Study on The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I think she enjoyed it, although it was unlike any bible study she has ever been a part of.

For these chapters we visited the beavers and had: Chami Winter Apple Spice Tea, a loaf of Dutch Crust Bread, trout, chicken (for the non-seafood eaters [me]), boiled potatoes, and marmalade rolls. Of course I had to explain to her the joke about boiled potatoes.

I will be sharing the recipes as soon as I catch up with The Magician’s Nephew posts. 

Day 5) Thursday, January 6th

After the Book Club/Tea Party/Bible Study I thought Jane would be interested in going to a regular bible study. She enjoyed it and marveled at my cat pen, amazed at how it looked and wishing they had such easy things to use when she was writing her novels. I plan to show her an Austen adaption tonight, but am still trying to decide which one…should I show her one I love or one I hate so we can both make fun of it? Decisions, decisions…

Hmmm…

I finally decided to show her one I hate, Austentatious (2015)

This is the worst Jane Austen adaption I have ever seen. We started with the first one and then she caught up to me with the second to last episode. After we watched the whole thing she was very confused about the whole thing and how it even matched up with what she wrote. Same Jane, same. If interested, you can watch it on tubi or you can read my past reviews: We Are Family: Austentatious, Episode 1 (2015), Big Girls Don’t Cry: Austentatious, Episode 2 (2015), I’ll Be Watching You: Austentatious, Episode 3 (2015), Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Austentatious, Episode 4 (2015), Call Me, Maybe: Austentatious, Episode 5 (2015), Drive Me Crazy: Austentatious, Episode 6 (2015), Make Me a Match: Austentatious, Episode 7 (2015), Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious, Episode 8 (2015), and Achy Breaky Heart: Austentatious Episode 9 (2015). 

After we watched the series, we had a cup of tea before bed. I had purchased two Jane Austen inspired teas from NovelTea TinsPride and Peppermint and Sense and Senchability. I had run out of Pride and Peppermint as I had used the last of it in the tea advent calendar swap I made for a friend, so we drank Sense and Senchability. Jane loved it and was amazed at all the different Jane Austen inspired products that we can purchase today.

Day 6) Friday, January 7th

Today was a shopping day as Jane went with me to visit a local Vintage/resale shop as I was on the hunt for a purple teacup for my friend’s birthday this month. I found this adorable claw-footed one under $10.

We then stopped off at the grocery store to pick up a few items and Jane was amazed at all the food for purchase and the prices! Plus we came upon many things she had never heard of before protein powder, lactose free milk, Greek yogurt, every kind of chocolate you could imagine, and more.

Day 7) Saturday, January 8th

Saturday turned out to be a shopping day as well, as my sister needed to visit Jo-Anns and Hobby Lobby in the next city over (we have a small Jo-Anns and we do not have a Hobby Lobby). I agreed as long as we stop at one of my favorite restaurants, the Tea Bar and Fusion Cafe. They have the best foods and teas. Jane loved the HoneyTea Latte I bought for her.

Afterwards we went to Hobby Lobby where we looked for fabric for a book sleeve I’m having made.

I was looking for a dark fabric, but Jane spotted this beautiful china blue vase printed one that I just couldn’t say no to.

We only visited a quarter of the store and Jane was amazed at everything they had there.

Afterwards we went to Jo-Anns and looked around the different fabrics and of course I had to show Jane all the muslin they had.

Mr. Tilney mentions purchasing muslin for 5 shillings a yard in Northanger Abbey and that was a good deal, but Jane was amazed that today she could purchase muslin for half the price he paid (converting how much 1800s shillings would be worth in our money).

Day 8) Sunday, January 9th

It was time to say goodbye to Flat Jane as I had her for the week and she is about to journey on to stay with another friend. I helped her pack up and will drop her off tomorrow for her journey to the East Coast.

As Jane is going to visit another Jane Austen fan I couldn’t resist sending one of my Quill Ink Jane Austen Inspired Magazine Cover Cards. If you are interested in getting some for yourself check out her Etsy shop.

If interested in having Flat Jane visit you then contact JASNA EWANID to signup. I recommend it as it is a lot of fun.

For more Jane Austen, go to Is Emma Jane Austen’s Only Mystery?