I know some of you are probably thinking, another book list?
After I posted my review of The Real Jane Austen, I realized I have reviewed quite a few Jane Austen biographies but I don’t have a central place for people to go to to look for them. Why not make a post where I will list them out like all my others?
The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things Audiobook by Paula Byrne, Narrated by Kate Reading
Back in 2013 I was adding different books to my endless to-read list on Goodreads.
When I saw this book and added it to my list and then forgot all about it.
Fast forward to 2023 and I was scrolling the audiobooks on the Libby app looking for something new to listen to when I spotted this book, The Real Jane Austen, and decided to give it a listen.
I really enjoyed this book a lot, my only regret is that I didn’t have the print version which would have been easier for me to take notes; as I really, really loved this biography. It was so good!
However, the audiobook was still extremely enjoyable and I strongly recommend this to any Jane Austen fan.
The Real Jane Austen is a biography in a completely different format. Most biographies start with Jane Austen’s life and follow a timeline from birth to death. In The Real Jane Austen each chapter starts with an object in Jane Austen’s world-vellum notebook, a barouche, a simple gold chain, a bathing machine, etc.; and discusses it significance to her and it’s role in her novels.
One of my favorite chapters was the one on The Barouhe. I always knew transportation was important, but I never really thought about how important it was, and how not having your own carriages, barouches, or other modes of transportation left you at the mercy of others schedules and plans. Bryne talks about how without your own vehicle, especially as a woman, one would have to wait for elder brothers to come and get them; sometimes having to leave earlier then they wished or stay much longer than they liked.
Also having your own barouche or other vehicle meant you “arrived in society”; and if you drove your own vehicle you were both glamorous and dangerous.
It also gave new meaning to me about John Thorpe’s bragging about his vehicle.
He’s really trying to impress Catherine. I mean he is really trying to show her how glamorous, dangerous, and flourishing he is.
Another part I really enjoyed was hearing about how Jane Austen used to write on the back of the novels she owned (by other authors) what she thought happened to the characters. That made me think she would be happy to hear that her readers do the same with her characters.
Or at least most of them. 😆
Another point I found very interesting was how Bryne points out that Jane Austen heroines are never described really as attractive physically, typically being average, and it’s their internal qualities and intelligence that are more beautiful and draw people to them. Catherine is not a great beauty, Emma is handsome not beautiful, Elizabeth has fine eyes but the rest of her features are average, etc. I like that their brain, intelligence, and personality is what first strikes people’s attention; their beauty growing the more they spend time together.
These are just a few of the thoughts I had after reading this biography, I do have a few more percolating into becoming the possibility of a full blown post.
Again, I recommend this book to any Jane Austen fan. It was extremely interesting, and I really enjoyed every part. I do think that it would be best to read a traditional biography first to have a sense of Jane Austen’s life; but if you already have read one, or several, then definitely check this book out.
They decided for the summer they would be sending Flat Jane about, she staying with a person for a week and then moving onto the next home to visit. They asked people on instagram if they wanted to sign up and I was like, yes please!
This became so popular that they made multiple Janes and allowed people to have Jane revisit, which I requested. Now this visit didn’t happen recently but two years ago!
Yes, I’m really behind in my posts. Jane’s second visit happened in October 2021 and I was sidetracked by Horrorfest X that I didn’t get a chance to post it. Then I completely forgot about it as I was sidetracked by other things.
This visit happened from October 6th to October 20th 2021. I held on to her longer than a week as I was in the middle of moving out of my apartment and didn’t get to give her as much attention as I would have liked.
The parts that are italicized are from 2021 (my postings on Instagram) while anything not italicized are my current thoughts.
Day 1) Wednesday, October 6th
Today Flat Jane returned to me, and just in time for our tea party/book club/Bible study. I was also gifted some Pride and Peppermint tea that I cannot wait to drink while I read all about what Jane has been up to.
While I was in the middle of writing Horrorfest X, I also started my own 31 Days of Hallotean on Instagram when Spilltheteawithlucy choose not to do it again.
Day 6/31 of the 31 Days of Hallotean. Today’s prompt is Apple tea and we had a homemade apple, calendula, and green tea blend. “Indeed they are very delightful apples…”-Emma Jane thoroughly enjoyed this tea, and the lovely teacup (a birthday gift). I can’t wait to see what we end up doing this week! I know I will be busy as I have a lot of moving to do, but I’m hoping we can still have some fun.
Day 2 & 3) Thursday, October 7th and Friday October 8th
On Thursday I left Flat Jane occupied at home watching The Moonstone while I packed and moved things to my new place. I was going to leave her again on Friday, but she insisted on coming with. First we stopped at Walmart to pick something up and she was amazed at all the Halloween things as she had no clue what Halloween was. Afterwards we packed up my remaining miscellaneous items and then used my matcha wipes to relax after all that hard work.
Day 4) Saturday, October 9th
Day 9/31 of 31 Days of Hallotean prompt is Fall Flatlay! I meant to post this last night, but I fell asleep-I was so tired from moving. I had just received my September Quaintly and Co Jane Austen box and decided to use it for my fall Flatlay. It included all the items seen here (minus Flat Jane and the teacup).
Day 5) Sunday, October 10th
Yesterday Jane and I went to church and then she took her daily constitutional in the cemetery. She was surprised how “young” the graves were as none were earlier than the 1870s. Afterwards we went to the Dollar Tree to get some movie snacks, and boy was she surprised at all you could get for a dollar, and at all the candy available. Then it was movie time! My niece and I went to see Scream, but Jane declined as it wasn’t her type of film. Instead we met her in the lobby after and she told us she saw a movie with a character named James. She said he had a British accent and the film made her cry. After the movie we dropped my niece off and it was back to Wal-Mart to exchange my purchase for new drip pans and more cleaning. I feel bad that she came when I’ve been moving, but I do have a few fun things planned for later this week.
Day 6 & 7 & 8) Monday, October 11th; Tuesday, October 12th, and Wednesday, October 13th
[Monday] was Game Night! Last time Jane visited she and I played my Pride and Prejudice board game (as I had just received it as a Christmas gift). This time we played Clue: Mysteries and the very fun card game, Marrying Mr. Darcy. I won at Clue Mysteries, as I figured out who revealed Miss Scarlet’s secrets. Jane won Marrying Mr. Darcy as Georgiana Darcy; although it was very close as I played the nearly unbeatable, Caroline Bingley. I tried to sound her out as to which of the single Austen men (from any of her novels) would she set Georgiania up with (I lean toward William Price, the best man in Mansfield Park), but she said she was too tired to comment and went to bed. Maybe by the end of the week I’ll be able to swindle it out of her (or maybe not).
[Tuesday] my mom made albondigas (Mexican meatball soup) and I told Jane she had to try some as she had never had Mexican food before. It was different than the soups she had growing up, but she enjoyed it! It turned out to be a soupy day as she then helped me prepare the soup we will be having for tea, when we have our tea party/book club/Bible study.
Today [Wednesday] we met for our tea party/book club/Bible study and had a good time discussing The Power of Six, drinking Thai Green Milk Tea, eating Iron Rich Black Bean Soup, Roasted Carrots, and gluten free lemon and chocolate chip cookies. Flat Jane of course joined us, and enjoyed the tea and the soup she helped prepare the day before.
Day 9 & 10) Thursday, October 14th and Friday, October 15th
[Thursday] I had to work and do some moving out errands, so I left Jane at home with my cat. My cat hates getting her picture taken, but I managed to get a cute shot.
[Friday] Flat Jane and I went to a Halloween party. We ate spooky snacks and watched some horror comedies! The only downside was the fact that we ordered dominos and it was late, then the delivery person gave us the wrong order, they told us they would remake it but only IF we didn’t eat the pizza, and then it was another hour and a half until the new pizza was delivered. I am never ordering from dominos again. Jane was fine with it as she was having fun enjoying the food and watching the movies.
Day 11) Saturday, October 16th
Day 10 Road trip! Jane is buckled in with a snack as we head out to visit with some friends. It’s nice to have company on this trip.
I used my current reading stack of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, To Kill a Mockingbird, Katie the Catsitter, and Mexican Gothic so that the seatbelt could actually fit around her.
Day 16/31 of 31 Days Of Hallotean! Today’s prompt is Tea for a Halloqueen so I thought what better thing to do then a trip to Royal Tea Garden. I highly recommend this place as it was beautiful, had wonderful food, the staff was extremely friendly and efficient, and the tea delicious. It was a delightful experience and I will most definitely be back. We had Lavender Earl Grey Tea, Duchess Grey Tea, Irish Blend, Scones (with clotted cream, jam, and lemon curd), chicken salad sandwiches, cucumber cream cheese sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, a mini hand pie, spinach puff, and corn & bean salad. Everything was so good, I couldn’t even have dessert!Unfortunately I brought Flat Jane with me but she’s missing from all my pictures. I don’t know how that happened. Oh, well. 🤷🏻♀️
Day 12) Sunday, October 17th
Day 17/31 of 31 Days of Hallotean. Today’s prompt is an autumn bake and I made pan de Muertos por la dia de Los Muertos y té de Rosa aźucar. This was my first time making Pan de Muertos and it was fun, although I didn’t squish the bread down as well as I should have. I paired this autumn bake not with hot chocolate like you are supposed to, but with the dia de Los Muertos tea blend that Madsen Creations made and is currently selling a limited amount of. I bought three tins, two are to send to friends and the third to go with flat Jane on her next travel. Of course if the theme of the bake is Dia de Los Muertos, then of course I also had to use my Madsen Creations Jane Austen Catrina mug. (I love that mug so much!) I’m glad for my first try these came out well and plan to freeze a couple to save and use when I set up my ofrenda.
Flat Jane did help with the baking of the Pan de Muertos and was grateful for this view into another culture.
Day 13, 14, & 15ish) Monday, October 18th; October, Tuesday 19th; and Wednesday, October 20th
My time with Flat Jane has come to an end. On Monday we had game night, where we played the Pride and Prejudice Board Game and Loteria (she won the first, I won the second).
On Tuesday we had a movie night (the films pictured may or may not be part of this years’ Horrorfest X, you’ll just have to wait and see. 😉) They were Northanger Abbey (1987) and Ghostbusters 2.
Today I helped get her ready for her next destination, taking a welcoming gift to her new hostess. It was sad to see her go, but I know she has plenty of adventures ahead.
It was a ton of fun having Jane and now that I finally reviewed my last trip, I’m itching to ask for her again.
If interested in having Flat Jane visit you then contact JASNA EWANID to signup. I recommend it as it is a lot of fun.
Last year I decided to review the movie Austenland twice, one as an individual review and the second time with my niece. While I discussed a lot about it from acting, to costumes, to the script, etc.
The one thing I didn’t really write about was the soundtrack, and that’s because I wanted to do individual song posts. Everyone knows that music is extremely important when scoring a movie, I’m sure you all have seen videos where they change out the song the film has and put something different in, it changing the mood and tone of the scene.
The soundtrack for Austenland was extremely well curated as it included original songs written for the film; along with classics everyone knows and would enjoy. I plan to only review the songs that were written specifically for the film.
And I am starting off with the first song we hear when we are introduced to the film and our main character: L.O.V.E. D.A.R.C.Y. byEmmy the Great
Emmy the Great AKA Emma Lee-Moss is a musician who first began recording in 2006. She has released multiple albums and collaborated with many artists.
How did she become involved with Austenland? Is she a Janiete? I couldn’t find anything saying she was, but I also couldn’t find anything saying she wasn’t.
According to an interview I found by Vice at the time, she decided to write the songs after seeing that Jerusha Hess, was directing (who directed one of Emmy’s favorite films),and that it was being produced by Stephanie Meyer (yes TwilightMeyer). After seeing the rest of the cast and looking over the script Emmy readily agreed.
I think what makes a lot of the songs she wrote so powerful and wonderful is that Emmy really understood the character of Jane Hayes and it clearly shows in L.O.V.E. D.A.R.C.Y.
Jane Hayes is supposed be an average woman who is also a Janeite/Austenite that loves Pride and Prejudice with a passion from a young age. She is sweet, quirky, longs to be like Elizabeth, and doesn’t always seem to fit in our modern world.
This is the story of a girl And it begins like any other Since she was very young She knew that he would come And now she’s waiting for her dream dream lover
You try to catch her eye But she doesn’t want to see She’s got a picture of a man by her bed She’s got an oversize tshirt down to her knees
She’s singing My boy loves me My boy loves me My boy loves me
She looks into the mirror She’s making a face She’s trying to picture the day that they meet She knows exactly what she’s gonna say
How tall will he be? He’s like six foot two Will he be good to me Yeah he’ll be good to you
Will he treat me right He’s gonna treat you right I hope I meet him soon I hope he comes tonight
This is the story of a girl This is the story of a girl She’s writes his name she writes her name L. O. V. E. D. A. R. C. Y.
She’s singing My boy loves me My boy loves me My boy loves me My boy loves
I know I know I know
First of all I love the pop tune and love the beat with the thrum of the guitar. It is immediately catchy and sucks you in. The song starts off describing our heroine who “Since she was very young she knew that he would come. And now she’s waiting for her dream dream lover”.
This fits perfect with Jane Hayes who started reading Jane Austen in her teens and connects with all Jane Austen fans who also started reading Austen young and wish for their own Austen-type romance.
I feel like the best and most telling lyric is the following one: “Will he be good to me? Yeah he’ll be good to you. Will he treat me right? He’s gonna treat you right.” Because that is what Jane Hayes is looking for in her love of Jane Austen; a man who will love her unconditionally, who will do all he can to protect her, who will respect her, takes criticism well and tries to better herself; etc. She doesn’t want a man from the 1800s, she wants a man with all the good traits of the Austen men, especially Mr. Darcy. And isn’t that what we, all who are single, want?
This went perfectly with the opening scene of the film when we see Jane from teen with a teacup when she goes out, to her college days of studying Jane Austen, to her terrible dating life, etc.
I was gifted this coloring a book a couple years ago and decided it was time to finally review it.
I have loved coloring books ever since I was a child and I still color today. Coloring is really good for your mental health as it calms your brain and helps your body relax. Coloring can also help you improve sleep and fatigue while decreasing body aches, heart rate, respiration, and feelings of depression and anxiety.
This Jane Austen Witty and Wise Coloring Book has 31 quotes from Jane Austen’s works, with each page full of decorated borders. Each page is perforated and only printed on one side if you want to remove it and frame it.
I really enjoyed it and I recommend it for Jane Austen fans and coloring book enthusiasts. I plan to bring this with me when we go to Ireland this fall as I might need something to entertain me on the plane ride.