So last year on Instagram I saw that @TeaisforTravel was starting an Advent Calendar Tea Swap. When I first saw it I was extremely interested and totally wanted to join:
But then I thought about it…a few years ago I did a book swap and sent my books off to the people I was assigned and was supposed to receive some, but I never did. I decided to skip it as I didn’t really want to get involved in something, have my hopes up, and then have nothing arrive.
Then I saw @teaandme blog was going to do it, and it looked like so much fun…plus I had almost 25 teas I just needed a few more…I figured aw, why not?!
So I signed up to do it. But then I was like how do I make an advent calendar? Whenever we did an Advent Calendar/Christmas countdown growing up, we always did paper chains. I never had one that had things in it. Thank goodness for the internet-I googled and searched pinterest to try and find some ideas.
So the concept I really wanted to do, didn’t work with mailing it to my person. I had a few ideas but I needed to finish it up between all the other holiday things I needed to do + get it out in the mail before December 1st, so I ended up doing a very simple envelope style.
I actually had so much fun making my advent calendar I didn’t even care if I ended up not getting one. With mine I chose certain teas for certain days and every pod had a tea and a letter about why I picked it to be a part of the calendar or to be had on a certain day.
I can’t remember what I wrote for everything, just a few-but I do remember the teas I used. They were:
December 1st-Lifestyle Awareness Serene Slumber Soothing Lavender: As Sunday was the first day of Advent I chose a “purple” tea (I did for every Sunday of Advent). Purple is a symbol of Advent as in ancient times purple was extremely expensive and used for royalty. As Advent is awaiting the “coming of the King”, its color became purple as well. The first Sunday of Advent symbolizes Hope and the first candle lit is the “prophecy candle” in remembrance of the prophets, such as Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. I also wanted to start off with a soothing tea as Christmas can be super stressful for people.
December 2nd-Stash Earl Grey
December 3rd-Tiesta Tea Maui Mango
December4th-Lipton Black Tea
December 5th- Stash Chai Spice
December 6th- Tiesta Tea Fruity Pebbles
December 7th- Good Earth Sweet & Spicy
December 8th- Stash Wild Raspberry Hibiscus: The second Sunday of Advent is also a purple candle and represents faith. This one is called the Bethlehem candle and is a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
December 9th- Sencha Naturals Organic Matcha: Just in case I included in my letter how to make a matcha latte.
December 10th- Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea
December 11th- Stash Premium Green Tea
December 12th- Oliver Pluff & Company Jasmine Green Tea: I had won this tea in a giveaway from Regency Marketplace.
December 13th- Panera Ginger Peach Tea: Our library hosted a parent event every month. Right before I put the advent calendar together, they canceled their meeting but forgot to cancel their order at Panera. So we enjoyed a bunch of breakfast sweets, coffee, and tea.
December 14th- Stash English Breakfast Tea
December 15th- Tiesta Tea Nutty Almond Tea: This sunday of Advent you use the pink candle, so I chose a tea that is pink after it steeps. This candle symbolizes joy and is the Shepherd’s candle-representing the joy they and the world had with the birth of Christ.
December 16th- Twinings Earl Grey: December 16th is Jane Austen’s birthday so I chose a Tea that Jane Austen would have had. In one of her letters she wrote she purchased Twinings tea, because it was unadulterated -unlike other tea that was blended with anything.
December 17th- Tiesta Tea Royal Breakfast
December 18th- Stash Chamomile: Being halfway through the month I thought it was a good time to have some more relaxing tea.
December 22nd- Tiesta Tea Lavender Chamomile: This is the last Sunday of Advent. This candle represents peace and is called the “Angel’s Candle”. I thought it was perfect for today as this close to Christmas chamomile is perfect to give one peace as they finish any last minute anything they need to do.
December 23rd- Stash Lemon Ginger: December 23rd is my sister’s birthday and she loves Lemon Ginger Tea.
December 24th- Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea: When I was a kid I had such a hard time trying to sleep on the night before Christmas as I would be too wired. My mom used to always have us drink Sleepytime Tea to ehlp us sleep, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t-but I still drink it every December 24th.
December 25th- Tiesta Tea Victorian Earl Grey: When I think of Christmas I of course think of A Christmas Carol and so what would be better than Victorian Earl Grey?
In fact I had so much fun making this, that I ended up creating and sending one to my niece as part of her Christmas gift.
So it turned out that the person who was making my Advent calender was @TeaisforTravel, the creator of the swap. I tried to use a different cup each day and have the pictures be different or about what I was doing that day. Some days I combined it with my 25 Days of Christmas Movies or with my reading Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen. Now I like different types of tea, but I tend to only buy/drink one: Tiesta Tea Victorian Earl Grey.
So it was nice trying out different teas, some of them being ones I had never heard of before. And while I may not have loved all of them, I loved having this experience of trying all these different teas.
So I am sharing the pics I really liked/thought turned out great. If interested in seeing all of them, just head over to my instagram @janeaustenrunsmylife
December 13th- Artful Tea Purple Lychee:This was a Friday the 13th so of course I needed to wear my Ghostbusters T-Shirt, use my Ghostbustersmug, eat pizza, and watch horror films. This Purple Lychee was really good as I am not a big fan of lychee but enjoyed this.
December 14- Whittard English Breakfast: I’m really picky about my English Breakfast, but LOVED this tea. I also really love cats and Audrey Hepburn movies (if you couldn’t tell lol).
December 15th- Nobilitea Pina Power: I didn’t think I would like this as I don’t care for pineapple, but I enjoyed it. I also gave this to my niece.
December 16th- Nobilitea Prima Donna: This was a nice tea, but not for me. I also gave this one away to a friend. I paired this with my viewing of Star Wars: A New Hope as part of my 25 Days of Christmas. I know most will say it isn’t a Christmas film, but my family watches it every year at Christmastime.
December 17th- Steepologie Sour Patch Tea: This tea surprised me as it was better than I thought it would be. This day we decorated our family Christmas tree, our family tradition is to have an ornament that represents important events that occurred in the year.
December 25th- Nobilitea Banana Pancakes: I wasn’t sure if I would like this as banana flavored things aren’t really my thing, but I really enjoyed it.
This was so much fun, that I was excited to do it again this year. I wasn’t sure if @teaisfortravel was going to do it again (with COVID19), so this year I put together a tea swap with some friends and family members.
If you are interested in doing it, contact her or try to do it with your friends or family. It is a lot of fun and a great way to stop and take some moments to relax during the holiday season.
Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl edited by Christina Boyd
So first of all-let me apologize.
I have been calling this book by the wrong title this WHOLE time. This book is ELIZABETH: Obstinate Headstrong Girl. Like I don’t how I missed that. I mean “Elizabeth” is in huge giant letters.
I will be fixing that in the other post. I…I don’t have any words…
I don’t know what to say…
So moving on from my faux pas:
Whether or not she is you favorite character or Austen heroine: we all love her. After all, who can resist her wit and confidence?
Now some people may think, hasn’t there been enough written about her? What else could be said? Does she need an anthology? Well I think Meg Ryan answers that question perfectly:
Yes, Elizabeth is a fantastic and complex character and Christina Boyd, Elizabeth Adams, Karen M. Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Leigh Dreyer, Jenetta James, Christina Morland, Beau North, and Joana Starnes have written 10 different stories on her.
This post is going to be on the five stories that are set in different time periods. Usually I review this from the farthest back in time to the most recent, but we are switching it up a bit. This time we are starting with the most recent time period and working our way backwards as I promised Christina Boyd that her story would be last. So without further intro, buckle up in your delorean:
Because here we go:
The Last Blind Date by Leigh Dreyer
Circa: Present Day
Elizabeth is a grad student at University of Oklahoma, waitressing at Bennets to put herself through college. Others who work there are her best friends Jane and Charlotte.
And an odd guy, Bill Collins also works there. Collins keeps asking her out but Elizabeth turns him down each time.
For the thousandth time
But she is going on a date tonight. Her best friend Jane and her boyfriend Charles have set Elizabeth up on another blind date.
Change Highbury to college.
This time it is with Will Darcy, CEO of Pember Oil and Charles’ best friend from boarding school. Elizabeth fought it, but finally agreed to go on this date, her final blind date (especially as they are seeing her favorite football team.)
Ugh. This is the last one.
The day comes and Elizabeth has no idea what yo wear so of course:
While they get her ready, Elizabeth’s friends encourage her to be not so obstinate and headstrong that she lets her preconceived notions paint a picture of who the guy is when they haven’t even met. Already by looking at his photo and hearing about his business Elizabeth has assumed he is a player, workaholic, emotionally stunted, a jerk, etc.
Here friends remind her of some other quick judgments she has made in the past about men.
After they leave, Elizabeth straightens up her house and takes out the garbage. While doing so-she overhears her date complaining about the blind date. Elizabeth is mad, understandable, but at the same time-weren’t you just doing that with your friends a little while ago?
Darcy comes to her door and he has a slight stutter. At first I thought maybe it was surprise, but after I realized it was a stutter and of course this popped in my head:
I mean Mr. Darcy + Colin Firth + Stutter = The King’s Speech. I’m I the only one? Anyways, Elizabeth is surprised that Darcy isn’t as awful as she thought he was, and is trying to be angry with him still-but has a hard time as they have prime seats for football, and Elizabeth is a giant football fan! Plus Darcy knows zero about football and isn’t intimidated in having her tell him what it is all about.
The two begin to talk, and football is a game where something can happen and turn the whole game in an instant. Will Darcy and Elizabeth come out a team? Or will their misunderstandings cause further issues?
So I like that this book was set with Elizabeth in college as I haven’t read too many Pride and Prejudice retellings set in college. Usually Elizabeth and Darcy are in high school or out of college. This was a new view.
The other thing I thought was interesting was to have Darcy have a speech impediment. It is one author’s interpretation of the story but I think that adds to his quiet stoicism, although in this he isn’t so broody-it turns out that he is actually shy and used to not saying much.
It was a cute story and they were very cute together. Darcy is so bashful and sweet.
Resistive Currents by Karen M. Cox
I love the ’80s-film, music, clothes. When I was reading this I was trying to imagine them in full ’80s clothes. And you know what that means-’80s cosplay of Elizabeth Bennet is a go!
Beth Bennet is studying engineering at Fordyce University, and you know that’s a hard field-especially in 1980…especially for a woman.
Yes, Elizabeth has to deal with a lot of crap from guys mostly as she has to work harder to prove herself.
The story starts off with Beth on break and attending a funeral for her great grandmother, Elizabeth Alton Gardiner. There they see other family members and Beth’s father tries to show off Beth’s accomplishments to everyone. It’s nice that he is proud of her, but at the same time it is upsetting. Is she going to be living her life for that? Or will she be able to do her own thing? That really resonated with me, and I think it will with other readers.
I think this is an extremely on point mark as well-as I think we can all agree that Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are not the best example of a good marriage or good parenting. Most people talk about how Elizabeth and her father are close-he finds her the only one worth talking to- but at the same time while his sarcasm isn’t turned on her like the other children, it doesn’t mean everything was perfect between them.
Grandma Alice tells Elizabeth about her mom, Beth’s great grandma (who passed), and how she had traveled West and was a teacher at the turn of the 20th century. She shares a little about how Great Grandma met Great Grandpa and at first couldn’t stand him, but in the end love came softly and they fell for each other.
“It pays to judge slowly, sweet girl. You mark my words.’ Out of respect Beth didn’t disagree, but in her soul-in her very being-she knew Beth Bennet’s first impressions were d*** near infallible.”
Back at school, Beth is relaxing with coffee and a good book at the local coffee shop when she looks up and sees a very handsome guy. They share a few words, and she hopes to run into him again, but doesn’t. Darn!
Beth meets up with her friends-Charlotte [Lucas], Charles [Bingley], and Rene- they talk about class and how much they really dislikes her cranky professor Dr. De Bourgh [Lady Catherine]. It seems like things have just gotten worse as they have a new T.A. who seems to be just as difficult.
Beth is waiting outside for Lab with the new T.A. and overhears Dr. De Bourgh talking about her. The Dr. calls her an “obstinate headstrong girl”. The T.A. tells Dr. De Bourgh that he thinks an ECE education is really difficult to take if he is just looking for her MRS degree or wanting to please her dad. To make it worse-she sees it was the hot guy from the coffee shop.
Beth is angry and hurt! Although, in his defense-T.A. Darcy didn’t say anything horrible about her, he actually seemed to be defending her. If anything that ire should be pointed at Dr. De Bourgh. Beth begins to fume and believes Darcy is going to treat her like every other misogynist guy does, but instead of making fun of her-he seems to ignore her. He never calls on her or looks at her.
Beth waits as long as she can, and then she meets with Darcy and let’s him have it. I really liked this exchange between them as it was funny with all the misunderstandings and twists but how Cox laid it out.
Things get better as Darcy listens to what she said and starts calling on her. In fact, everything is great until Elizabeth gets sick and faints in class right over Thanksgiving break, Darcy takes her to the hospital and stays with her-but as her family can’t come right away and all her friends are not answering their landlines or out of town, the only one who can take care of her is Darcy. Will this time together cause something to bloom? Or will they continue to clash?
This is technically a double story as in this as Beth reads the diary of her great-grandma Elizabeth Alton Gardiner from 1906. Elizabeth Altonlost her family and is alone. She worked hard to get a teaching degree and applied for the position in Colorado under the name of E.M. Alton. She knew they probably would’t want a woman (typically settled Western towns wanted women as teachers or in the town so this must not be a very settled place.) She hopes that when she gets there, they will keep hr because the needs is so high.
She meets Sheriff Gardiner-who wants her to go back home, as he doesn’t think she should be here. But Elizabeth is angry and determined to stay. Later, she visits with Jane and Dr. Bingley and overhears the sheriff and the Doctor talking about her, the sheriff saying that it is going to be extra work for him to protect a single woman living alone.
With a greeting like that, Elizabeth is set dead against the man. What can be done to change her mind?
All the interactions between Beth and Darcy were so refreshing and spot on. They were just so darn adorable together, I just loved every minute of it.
I love Pride and Prejudice, I love the ’80s, and I love the Old West-so this one was an obvious winner for me as it blended all these themes I loved.
So I love movies, especially old movies: you may or not have noticed.
I watch them, I read about them, I just love them.
So when I saw that this was 1930s Hollywood inspired story of Pride and Prejudice I was super excited.
Elizabeth Bennet is a theater actor who landed a huge Hollywood role! How did this all happen? Well that’s the story Caroline Conway, reporter, is after. Elizabeth Bennet is a smart girl and doesn’t want to talk to her, but has to. Of course, she won’t give her the real story…but we get to read it… A year earlier, Elizabeth was ending her seven years time in London. She loves the city and is sad to leave, but leave she must. After getting her heart broken and money stolen, the only thing she can do is go to stay with her sister Jane in California.
All her money is gone, jewelry gone-the only things shs had left was some clothes, a few photographs, and a handful of cards from a mysterious admirer. Reading them always made her feel better, now more than ever.
On the boat she spots Gigi Duvall, former child star who has been transitioning into a full-fledged actress. She had had trouble in Hollywood making the jump and decided to try out in London, where she did well. But now Gigi seems to be fighting with a handsome men. Ugh Elizabeth is so over men-all are big dump brutes or dopes.
She watches as Gigi accuses the man of not caring about her, only money and he promising to start over.
They all say that.
The couple move on their way and Elizabeth goes back to mourning leaving her beloved city. Now in California, Jane and Elizabeth are running lines for the new picture, The Headstrong Girl, as Jane is trying out for the main lead. That night they are going to a party and Jane is eager to get to Charles Bingley as she wants to impress him and get the part.
Elizabeth goes to help be her wingwoman, but she isn’t really needed as Charles has no eyes for anyone else than Jane.
Elizabeth finds herself bored and pushed in and steps outside where she runs into Gigi Duvall. The two talk and enjoy each other’s company when they are interrupted by the man on the boat, William Darcy head of Pemberley Pictures. Darcy and Gigi argue and Elizabeth gets mad seeing him bully Gigi. Who cares that he is the head of the studio. She let’s it rip at him-which surprises both Gigi and Darcy.
Darcy threatens her not being able to work in Hollywood, unless she apologizes, and Elizabeth doesn’t care. When he brings up her sister, Elizabeth apologizes in gritted teeth, after he leaves she vows to one day make him pay!
Elizabeth tells her sister about the party and meeting Mr Darcy, and hearing him and Bingley talk about her. But she doesn’t share that Mr. Darcy isn’t planning on hiring Jane. He thinks she isn’t right for the picture and as Charles has a thing for her, the gossip eags will say she slept with him to get the part, and he will not have is company dragged through the mud. Elizabeth is angry, but what can she do now. Nothing-powerful men suck! She never wants to see him again. Of course Jane asks Elizabeth to come with her to her audition, and as all good sisters she does. There she just has to run into Mr. Darcy-today is not her day, week, month, or year.
They have a exchange and Darcy mentions that he has heard of her and seen her perform in London-leaving Elizabeth stunned. He then tries to get her to audition, but she refuses. She doesn’t want to be in pictures, she’s just here as support. And she would never steal a part away from her sister.
Later, Elizabeth and Jane are talking about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth finds herself very puzzled. Who is this man? The night before and with Gigi he was a beast and now in the studio-kind, charming, funny?
Who is this guy?
That evening they get a call from their uncle and agent Edward Gardiner. Jane didn’t get the part but she does have a part in the new Cagney film-but only IF Elizabeth signs a contract to be the lead in The Headstrong Girl. Apparently, Darcy wanted to sign her after seeing her perform the year before but didn’t for some reason. OH NO, NO WAY is Elizabeth doing that. Never!
But then Gardiner lays down the amount of money she will be getting, the guilt of her mother and sisters struggling on the apple farm, Jane’s chance at being a star, etc; and of course she says yes.
Elizabeth starts production and actually finds herself enjoying it. Charles is a great director, her costar Rollo Fitz is fun and friendly, Cat-Darcy’s personal assistant and cousin is eccentric and kind,-the only one she doesn’t like is Darcy.
Ugh, he may be “gallant” and “charming” to others but she knews he was a jerk the moment she saw him on the boat. Maybe he acted nice in the studio, but that must have been a weak moment as she is still upset and blames him for blackmailing her into this rile. NO siree she will never, ever like him.
One day on set Darcy wants to talk to her. He gas seen the papers and how she and Rollo have been going out (they are just friends). He wants her to end it (and this kind of thing happened a lot with studios back then) and Elizabeth of course flat out refuses to. The two exchange witty banter and almost…kiss? What?! NO! No, no, no she IS NOT interested in him.
They go to an after party for the Academy Awards at Darcy’s home, Ashwood Manor. Things are going good until Darcy asks her to speak to him in his library. Which Darcy will she get the jerk demanding things? Or…the one that makes her blood boil not in anger but passion? Actually neither. He compliments her, her acting, and offers her a contract.
Elizabeth is furious! That’s what he wants to talk about-not them? Not about them being together?!!!! OMGoodness I laughed so hard!!! I love the screwball comedies if the 1930s-Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, William Powell and Carole Lombard, Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell-and this made me think of them so much. I wish this was a real movie. I could see Cary Grant as Mr. Darcy and Irene Dunne or Rosalind Russell as Elizabeth shouting at him.
Elizabeth realizes that she likes him, both give into their feelings-but are interrupted by Cat relaying that “George” has been seen trying to get into the house. Oh drat, blasted Wickham!
Darcy and Cat leave to deal with it and protect Gigi, Darcy asking Elizabeth to wait for him. After they are gone our plot takes a swerve as it appears George has been hiding in the library the whole time! And George isn’t just Gorge-but Buster! The louse who stole Elizabeth’s money, jewels, and broke her heart.
Gigi and Darcy return and revelations are dropped right and left, I don’t know if anyone can survive the things coming out this night. But as with every good picture we need a storm before we can end on a perfectly lovely note. This was fantastic! If I had money I would turn it into a movie. And that ending with Mr. Darcy and his attempts to woo women-priceless!!
I also love how when North describes the picture they are filming a lot of the descriptions bring to mind Pride and Prejudice (1940). The gowns, the hair, the archery. I don’t know if she did that on purpose (I hope she did) but I love it either way.
Have you ever wished for a Jane Austen Downton Abbey fusion?
By God, yes!
Well then here you go! Jenetta James’ story takes place roughly 1913-1914 England (my guess based on an event she mentions that happened in 1913 and no talk of WWI) in an old manor house, Netherfield Park-just like Downton Abbey!
Jane and Elizabeth have been invited to join in on the hunt and the weekend house party. It looks to be a grand affair and Elizabeth notices a handsome man-handsome but stern.
Look at that guy…
They go to their rooms and get ready for the evening, discussing Mr. Charles Bingley, who only has eyes for Jane, and on the way downstairs meet a friendly girl with a lisp, Mary King, visiting from Northampshire and feeling a little lost and alone. Elizabeth immediately befriends her.
Jane and Mary go off with Charles and Elizabeth finds herself alone. Not for long as she is entered into conversation with Caroline Bingley and the stern man-Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy seems friendly enough but Caroline keeps changing the conversation and starts talking bad about Elizabeth’s sisters, you know how she rolls:
The Bennet girls are trying to get votes for women, being leaders in their community’s women’s suffrage movement.
Elizabeth continues this conversation believing:
“Give votes to women. Then there would be fairness all around and no broken post office windows.”
Mr. Darcy disagrees saying that such a sentiment is “unlikely” and Elizabeth is incensed. How dare he.
Now truth be told I was thinking the same thing? How on earth can he rebound from this? But after reading their exchange a few times I was like you got me good James. I see what you did.
Elizabeth and Darcy part ways-Elizabeth continuing to be furious, but at dinner she doesn’t help but notice that Caroline sits Darcy next to her. And it kind of makes her upset. But why should she feel this way? He’s a jerk.
She’s seated next to George Wickham, writer, working on his first novel. They talk and he shares about how Darcy is a jerk and an antiquarian-he;s living in the past and can’t stand the modern age. Wickham shares more on how Darcy treated him, and Elizabeth decides not to give this jerk another thought. The next day is the hunt, with Elizabeth being one of the few ladies who is riding.
George saddles up next to her and they talk about horses and races and he shares he was there the day Emily Davison threw herself on the tracks to raise awareness for votes for women. Elizabeth shares how she felt saddened by her sacrifice but admires her bravery to fight for what she believes in. She wants to know how George feels, but they are interrupted…but she is sure such a good man would be. He’s not going to be like Mr. Darcy…
They ride out and Elizabeth loses track of George and later she realizes she hasn’t seen him for a while. She searches for him and finds that he has fallen off his horse, his face bleeding, and arm hurt. Darcy comes upon him and at first she is glad for his assistance, but when he wants her to return to he hunt-ugh all she can think is what a horrid man. She refuses to go and he rides off for help. But weirdly-he should have been more concerned with George’s heath but seemed solely focused on her.
Elizabeth is amazed at Darcy’s swiftness in retuning especially as he doesn’t like George, that much is certain. Darcy tells her that he does’t care for George, but that he was worried about her. The two argue with Elizabeth not believing how he could be so cruel to an injured man, a man he has known forever, and calling him a rogue-when he is a sweet and charming guy.
But Darcy doesn’t say anything on that and leaves.
Later, Mary King visits with Elizabeth and she is legit one of the cutest and sweetest characters in this. She is embarrassed because she ate the jar of biscuits given to them and left in the bedroom, but doesn’t want Caroline to find out and think badly of her. Elizabeth doesn’t really see it as an issue, but shares hers so it looks like Mary only ate a few. Mary is so precious. Mary decides that to thank Elizabeth she will reveal something she knows about George, who she noticed Elizabeth spending a lot of time with. She reveals that George is a ruthless “yellow” journalist. He will trample on anyone and do anything to get his story. He’s been doing a serious on the women suffragists who have gone to prison and are doing hunger strikes. Most of them go by an assumed name and he has ben revealing who they really are in the hopes to embarrass their well-to-do-families and paint them as princesses playing at politics. One woman he really ran through the ringer was Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s sister. Oh no. Elizabeth was so wrong about him-and Darcy’s anger at George it all makes sense. Oh no, what is she to do? Can she fix this?
I really enjoyed this story and not just because I git to trot out the Downton Abbey memes and gifs I’ve collected (although that was fun). It was the same story of Pride and Prejudice that we love but told in a different, new, and fun way. Plus I really liked the way she wrote the misunderstandings of what was said. I deeply applaud you!
I was so excited to see that Christina Boyd included a story. I always suspected she had one brewing inside her.
So I have been made to promise not to reveal certain things as to not give away the ending…
So in this Elizabeth Bennet is a grandma, (that’s why I believe it to be the 1870s), and her granddaughter has fallen for a man. Elizabeth knows her daughter-in-law only cares if he is wealthy and from a good family so she has decided to check on whether this man is really the right guy. She gives excellent advice, some that everyone who is single should take to heart.
This was so cute as Elizabeth shares her story with her granddaughter, about Mr. Wickham, the misunderstandings, Mr. Darcy-the whole thing.
That’s all I’ll say on that. I don’t want to ruin the story.
Oops! Wrong book!
I loved it and thought it was adorable. Although I will say one more thing…when her granddaughter’s beau comes over, this meme did pop in my head LOL.
So no lie, when I finished the last story this was literally how I felt:
I was like where’d the book go? How did I read it so fast? Why isn’t there more? Where are the rest of the stories?
I had to go back and count to see if I had actually read all ten stories. It just seemed to be over so quickly.
Each story was a delight and I loved them and the book.
There are a ton of different variations in books and film-but what about when you are done? What about when you finish watching every version of Jane Austen in film and have nothing else to watch?
Last year I started a series called Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers, where I review books not written or based on Jane Austen, but ones I think Austen fans will enjoy. I decided to continue that and do a series on Non-Austen Film for Austen Fans (including TV shows as well.)
I haven’t decided if with the TV series I will review by episode or season, or just one review-I’ll have to play it by ear. But below are what I plan on reviewing!
Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues edited by Christina Boyd
So it’s that time again, bring out the bad boys:
For those of you who missed post one, Dangerous to Know, is compilation novel of the bad boys of Jane Austen-Mr. Willoughby, Mr. Wickham, Captain Tilney, General Tilney, Mr. Elliot, Mr. Thorpe, and more.
Each story takes place before the Austen book, during the book, or after the book-giving us a look into these guys’ minds and from their point of view. One of the most interesting things about this subject is that we don’t know a lot about these bad boys in Austen’s work. Most of these men, besides Wickham, play a small role-but have a big impact. This allows the authors a ton of wiggle room and almost anything can happen.
The other thing about this book is that…well…this is about rakes and rogues, so you know…they aren’t the best of men or respectful…you know…so some of them are going to be more sexy.
And I just want to say thank you to Christina Boyd for including this little chart to help you:
Mature Content Guidelines:
None: Possible kissing and affection.
Moderate: Some sexual references but not explicit.
Mature: Some nudity and some provocative sex.
Erotic: Explicit, abundance of sex.
Because not everyone is interested in books like this:
It’s nice giving us a head’s up so those that aren’t interested know to skip or skim, or those that are, can enjoy.
Something for everyone
So last time I reviewed the none posts, in which we had a stories on Captain Fredrick Tilney, General Tilney and John Thorpe from Northanger Abbey; along with Sir Walter Elliot from Persuasion. I loved these stories as some of these men I love to hate and it made me hate them ever more:
And some men I have hated and actually began to like them:
I know, but true.
Let me say, that if you can get me-one of the most stubborn people in the world-to change their thinking…that is some fantastic writing.
So now onto the mild posts-just to refresh you memory, that means kissing.
The Address of a Frenchwoman by Lona Manning
So when I saw that this story was about Tom Bertram I was surprised and confused.
I never really saw him as a rogue or rake-to be honest I have never really focused on him when reading the story- and with how awful Henry Crawford is in that story, his rogueness overshadowed all.
But after reading this I really started thinking about his character and Manning is right. Tom Bertram is the oldest son-a gambler, drinker, and partier. Because of him, they have to sell his brother, Edmund Bertram’s, living-parsonage-to strangers.
He’s a man born into a life of privilege, gambles, sleeps around, and never considers how his actions affect others, nor does he care-like F. Scott Fitzgerald says-
“They were careless people…they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
But unlike the other bad boys, he does change after a long illness. When he gets through it, he begins to think of his life differently.
In this story, Tom is telling his friends a story about how he met his dream girl, a French woman, Rose. It all started when he visited a racetrack to place a bet. He is interrupted when a beautiful French woman is being assaulted by two ruffians. Tom steps in to help her, and finds himself smitten.
They have so much in common, they spend all their time together-except when Rose has to work, singing, to pay for all the aid she received in her escape from the Reign of Terror. Tom wishes to marry her, but she turns him down.
Disheartened, despondent, he returns home to put on a risqué play, but is thwarted by his father. From there he goes off again to the racetrack and runs into horrifying truth that brings his undoing. Rose is not at all who she seems…
Thoughts After Reading:
I thought this was really good. I figured out the end of the tale in the beginning, but that didn’t take away from the story. I also liked how the author wrote the Rose character. I found it to be very enjoyable.
Fitzwilliam’s Folly by Beau North
Like the previous story when I saw that Darcy’s cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam was included as a rogue or rake I was confused.
I mean he seemed like a nice guy to me.
So I began to think about it.
I have to say that I realize his behavior with Elizabeth was not okay. I mean if someone were to flirt with my friend the way he does with Elizabeth and then just flatly drops her with “we can never be together, you aren’t rich enough”-is a total jerkwad. And I would take that sucker down!
So Colonel Fitzwilliam is a second son, and we all know how that works. Second sons need a profession and to marry money…
So the story starts off with Colonel Fitzwilliam on his horse riding off in a hurry after someone…
We then cut to…
Six Months Earlier
Colonel Fitzwilliam and Darcy leave their aunt, Lady Catherine, to return to their homes. Darcy is heartbroken over Elizabeth’s refusal, while Fitzwilliam is also puzzled as to why she said no.
Fitzwilliam resumes life as normal, heading to Lady Snowley’s ball to oogle the women, but their attempts at him are in vain-as cupid’s arrows will never strike him…
This ball is different from all the others as Fitzwilliam receives a proposal.
Calliope Campbell is the eldest of three girls. Her father is an American who has made a lot of money, nouveau riche, and the family is on the prowl for title gentlemen to wed their girls off to. Like in The Buccaneersor the marriage of Cora to the Earl of Grantham, Robert Crawley, in Downton Abbey. Needless to say, her parents are eager to get their girls settled.
However, Calliope is tired of being treated like a cow up for auction and has hatched a plan. She wishes to hire Colonel Fitzwilliam to “court” her-not compromise her, but turn away her other suitors (especially General Harrington yuck!)-so that she remains an old maid. In turn when she receives her majority and inheritance, she will give him £8000.
Fitzwilliam is horrified at this vulgar proposal and turns her down flat. However…Fitzwilliam goes to visit a very upset and sloshed Darcy. He joins him and later wakes up with a massive hangover in his family home. There he gets more news of his older brother’s profligate ways and that proposal is sounding better and better.
Fitzwilliam agrees to Calliope’s terms and begins spending time with her…and starts falling for her. He finds her irresistible, her family loves him as he is from an important family…but there is one fly in the soup: the General. The General will not give up as he wants that fortune. He and Fitzwilliam compete-but then Calliope is kidnapped! Will Fitzwilliam save her in time?
Thoughts After Reading:
I LOVED this!!!!! Fitzwilliam is a character that could go in any direction, and I liked how North wrote him. I also loved the ending as…I can’t give it away, it was too good. You must read it yourself.
Some may say this story has been done before, but I don’t care what they say. I loved the characters and I had to keep flipping pages to find out what happened next. As I said before, you must read it!!!!!!
For those of you who follow me on facebook, I promised and am going to deliver.
It has been a while since we have talked about this show so let’s do a quick review. P.D. James, famous mystery writer, decided to write a Jane Austen mystery set years after Pride and Prejudice in which a murder occurs and Darcy, Wickham Colonel Fitzwilliam, are all suspects. Lots of people loved it. I read it and hated it. If you would like to read the full review of the book, go here.
A Jane Austen mystery
So when they made a TV series, everyone was talking about it. I however was not jazzed, as I hadn’t enjoyed the original source material, but was finally convinced to do it as I would be able to review something Jane Austen for Horrorfest. I was actually surprised by the mini series and enjoyed it much more than the book.
I know, scandalous bit hey-being honest. I then reviewed the second episode a few months later, and planned to finish the last one during Horrorfest VI, but that ended up being a disaster-so here we are.
Just keep moving foward
So the story thus far- Episode I: ALL HOPE IS DASHED-it is Christmastime and Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth, their son, Georgiana, the Bingley family, and Bennets are all getting ready to celebrate the Queen Anne’s ball. Colonel Fitzwilliam has money now and is interested in Georgiana, but she is in love with someone else. Also, there is a creepy story about a ghost in the woods surrounding the Darcy estate, just fyi. Everything is fine until Lydia shows up, with Wickham-something they were never supposed to do. But even worse their friend Captain Dennys is DEAD! MURDERED! Who killed him? (Full review click here)
Then we have Episode II-WICKHAM STRIKES BACK-So things are not going well. Stress, tension, hysterics abound in the Darcy house. Wickham is jailed and as Darcy’s brother-in-law is constantly asking him for things to help his stay, and Darcy delivers. Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship is under serious strain, and poor Georgiana-all trauma coming back. In the previous episode there was mention about their butler who has an ailing son. Elizabeth goes to visit with them and discovers they have some serious secrets. Wickham is trying to use his jailed time to make money off his “story” but no matter what the money or things-swears up and down that he did not kill his friend. But if not him, then who? We end with Wickham to go on trial; shouting by all; and a fade to black! (Full review click here)
So let’s see how this one will shape up. I have to say I really enjoyed the last episodes and hoping (fingers crossed) they deliver with this one.
So Wickham is in jail finally realizing that things may not turn out well. Charm can only get you so far and you can’t talk your way out of everything Eventually it catches up to you.
It turns out that the butler’s daughter who was caring for her nephew was lying about that, as she is unmarried, and the baby is her son and Wickham the father.
Seeing her in the courthouse brings back memories of their time together-and also what having this means for his future. For Louisa, she considers killing herself now that she knows they wont be a big happy family. Her Freddie is actually Wickham, a married man.
Wickham wasn’t the only one who noticed Louisa. Sir Selwyn, the magistrate, is very interested in what went on at the trial with Wickham/”Freddie”. They have to reveal to him the truth.
Not good for you man not at all.
Darcy goes to see his dreaded brother-in-law. Wickham has decided to go to America-to get away from the scandal, that is if he goes free.
A while back I did a post on Jane Austen’s aunt who was arrsted for shoplifting and had to jailed until her case went to trial and Mrs. Austen wanted to send Jane to stay as “a comfort”. Imagine if Jane really had to live with her aunt be stuck in on of these cells. yuck
Wickham wants Darcy to keep quiet about his extramarital affair, but Darcy is honorable. He won’t lie. But Wickham asking him too, I can’t help but wonder could there be something here that relates to Denny’s death?
Now Louisa’s family is afraid that Darcy will do something, it is Elizabeth’s sister who is Wickham’s wife. Or worse-what if her father finds out?
Elizabeth questions Louisa to see if she can shine any light on what happened. Louisa was supposed to give the baby Georgie to Eleanor a friend of Wickham’s. She last saw her the day of the murder-she looks just like the woman Elizabeth saw in the woods!
She was there with Captain Denny, who Louisa thought at first was Wickham. You know soldiers-from a distance they all look alike.
The woman wanted Georgie, but Louisa refused. She didn’t want to sell her child off she wanted a family-husband father, etc. William, the ill son, is upset about what happened that day. He reveals another clue to this mystery-there was a third person in the abbey.
That’s why he’s been so sketchy.
Elizabeth asks the housekeeper if she knows of anyplace where they can send Louisa’s child-she has a sister near Highbury-could it be Mrs. Goddard from Emma. hmmmm…
Sir Selwyn is looking into more about Wickham’s case. He is a man that looks into everything and anything.
Darcy and Elizabeth are actually talking for once-but just the trial. Elizabeth once again tries to have him see that to him that Col. Fitzwilliam is hiding something-that he was there. But Darcy won’t listen. It is his closest friend and cousin.
That’s my best friend.
Colonel Fitzwilliam and Georgina are talking about the future. If Wickham is convicted-all proverbial hell will break loose…but Colonel Fitzwilliam doesn’t stay on that topic for long-he has other things to speak of-marriage.
Georgiana accepts even though she does not love him. Her fear of the future and protectiveness of the Darcy name and Pemberley has caused her to choose safety over the man she really loves.
The next morning Darcy leave early, Elizabth still in bed, and finds a horse in his woods! It is Sir Selwyn investigating the woods. Sir Selwyn wonders if maybe that Denny was running not from Wickham, but to somewhere. Hmmm???
Darcy goes to the trial with trepidation. Newsboys selling papers with the headline “The Wicked Mr. Wickham” Finally someone gets it right! How weird is that the man Georgiana loves, Henry Alveston, defending the man who tried to kidnap and abuse her.
The crowd is very against Wickham-it does not look good.
Okay, let’s stop for a breather here. I’ve read the book. I know exactly how it ends-but I have to say this series is so well done I am getting tense too and full of “What’s going to happen next?”, “Will he get out of this?”, “Who killed Denny?” Bravo, BBC, Bravo.
The woman-Elizabeth and Louisa saw-is in the courthouse Darcy recognizes her-it was Georgiana’s nurse. The one that conspired with Wickham to squirrel her away! What does this mean?
Lady Catherine arrives. UGH!
Wickham is behaving much better at his actual. He’s not so pompish and foolish. The death of his friend has hit him too. You can hear how sad he is over the loss.
Wow-Matthew Goode, you actually made feel bad for Wickham. I still want to punch you in the face-but I might feel a twinge of guilt after doing it.
Lady Catherine is doing a number on Elizabeth. And of course it is all Elizabeth’s fault-Wickham would be out of their lives if it weren’t for her family. But the biggest surprise is Lydia-the very presence of Mrs. George Wickham sends Lady Catherine packing. Too bad Elizabeth did not have her with her when she visited Mr. Collins and Charlotte.
The prosecuting attorney brings up the debts Wickham acquired as a way to stain his character. This courthouse is turning into a mockery. Outrage. Objection!
After court Darcy storms off to follow Eleanor Younge. It turns out that Eleanor is Wickham’s sister. What? In the book she was in love with him. That threw me.
She wanted to adopt George-but Mr. Denny ruined it with his offering Louisa money. Darcy wants nothing to do with Eleanor after what she did to Georgiana, and Eleanor feels the same way.
But Darcy finds out that Elizabeth is telling the truth and Colonel Fitzwilliam was lying to him. Colonel Fitzwilliam went to Eleanor. Oh no-Darcy’s favorite guy fell off his pedestal. Now he wants the truth from Col. Fitzwiliam.
Wickham came to Col. Fitzwilliam. He decided to go Eleanor to pay her to take the baby-free the Darcy’s from Wickham. And then…oh no-Colonel Fitzwilliam just— oh no he did not say that about Georgiana. Hurry, Darcy-punch him too.
Col. Fitzwilliam how dare you talk about Georgiana as if she was “damaged gods” tainted” how Georgiana should be happy you would “take her” Oh my-oh my how dare you, how dare you, how dare you-you-prick Like she’s AAAAAAGHH-words can’t describe my anger at you. Get outta here rrrrrggggHHHH
Aw, Darcy apologizes to Georgiana. He feels bad. Its hard when you are a brother who is more a father, that line is a hard one to walk. Now go make amends to your wife.
I love the shot of when he says he is sorry that Elizabeth is above him and he is looking up to her. So much is how everyone comments on how Elizabeth’s family is below the Darcy’s and often he is above her. I thought it was a good way to show equal footing and almost a “I’m on my knees, pretty please forgive me” move while still being classic Darcy.
Darcy admits to Elizabeth he thinks Wickham is guilty. And that if this comes out-as it probably will-things do not bode well for either family. The next day Darcy goes to Alveston to discuss him. Oh Alvestan, such an idealist-he believes in a fair trial while the judge and prosecutor are clear who was guilty from day one.
Now I might not like Wickham and I wish he could pay for his crimes against women, but he shouldn’t hang if he didn’t commit the murder. Im such a Darcy-justice must rule not feelings.
Darcy takes the stand and things do not look well. Especially as Wickham said he killed Denny it as his fault. Darcy is stoic and strong-but oh things look bleak.
Elizabeth and Lydia are going to have a talk…about Wickham. But Lydia already knows-she doesn’t need hear it from her sister. She knows her husband.
The Jury return!!! What will there verdict be???
They find him to be…
Guilty! He will hang.
Guilty????!!! What?? Huh??? I don’t know what will happen next? Is this a dream??? No??? Guilty??
Eleanor leaves and Darcy follows. She is running and leaps into traffic-killed by horses running her over.
Guilty Wickham? Whaaaaaaaaaa….
Will is also dying. But he won’t see anyone. Elizabeth and the Reverend find it odd and go to speak to him. When they see him, he’s momemts away from his death and he finally tells the truth.
Captain Denny came the night of the murder. Will saw the uniform and believed him to be Wickham. Will was so angry that he had taken his sister’s virtue and ht him hard. Dennys’ staggered as he walked and fell down the hill-smacking his head on a rock and that causing his death.
I’m in shock
Will thought Wickham would get off-but he can’t allow a man to die for the crime he committed. He confesses and writes it out, signing it with witnesses.
We then see Wickham and Lydia.
Oh Wickham and Lydia, these two are cut from the same cloth. It is sweet seeing them together like this. Actually being loving and kind-caring for each other deeper than what they can get out of the other. Very sweet-shows another side of the two.
Elizabeth and Will’s father set out to Derby. Will they make it in time? Or is Wickham a dead man walking? Run Elizabeth, run. This feels like that moment in Pocahontas when you are like will she get there in time. Every second seeming to fly by and last forever at the same time.
Back at Pemberley–you know I just realized the book takes place at Christmas but BBC there’s no snow.
The two-Lydia and Wickham-all is well. They head off to America to flee scandal and cause more trouble.
Louisa keeps the baby, she and her family raising it-naming him after her brother.
And Henry Alveston rides to see Georgiana, in Henry Tilney fashion on a horse-to ask of her hand.
And Elizabeth pregnant.
Good job BBC, I enjoyed that tremendously. The only actor I did not like was Elizabeth’s. I thought she was just missing that spark. She always seemed tired, worn out, and too quiet.
And I have to say Matthew Goode was amazing! I have never felt so incredibly sorry for a character, yet at the same time hated his guts and wanted to punch him. He did amazing making Wickham so multi-faceted and giving him those little bits of humanity in the jerkiness and prickness of it all.
Fully amazing!!! A must watch!
And just a quick apology if I don’t get a chance to edit this before it posts tomorrow-I hope it isn’t too addled sounding.