“Jane Austen” from Women Who Made History: Writers and Artists by Julia Adams
I was shelving this series at the library and when I saw that it had a profile on Jane Austen, you know I had to read it.
Th series Women Who Made History is split into four books on influential women in different occupations: Activists and Leaders, Adventurers and Athletes, Inventors and Scientists, & Writers and Artists.
This book, Writers and Artists, is split into the following sections:
Artists and Writers
Kiri Te Kanawa
Simone de Beauvoir
Joanne J.K.) Rowling
Millo Castro Zaldarriaga
Grace Cossington Smith
I thought there would be more on Jane Austen but there is only a half page located in the Making History section.
It is two paragraphs giving a basic and brief overview of Jane Austen’s writing life. I was a little disappointed as all the other writers in the book were all given a full page or two pages and much more description on their life and works.
It’s not bad little book and is a great resource if you want to have children read a snippet of influential women in order to find one that captures their interest; later supplementing it with a longer biography.
I also really enjoy the illustrations as they are adorable and very cute.
If you want a more in-depth biography of Jane Austen, this book isn’t for you; but if you are looking for something small or an “appetizer” this is one for you.
Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1) by L. M. Montgomery
I know I have already written a post on my love of Anne of Green Gables, but after my book club had reread Anne of Green Gables i wanted to write a post on why I recommend it as a Non-Austen Read for Austen Readers. I just realized we read the book about two years ago and I never got around to posting (you know me, I have 100s of drafts of posts I need to complete.)
I was looking for said draft when I discovered two older Anne of Green Gables drafts. I decided let’s clean house and combine all three.
Older owners of Green Gables, Matthew and Marilla Cutbert, have decided that in order to continue running their farm they need extra help. They decide to adopt an orphan boy, sending the message through the daughter of a friend. When Matthew goes to the station to pick him up, it turns out there was a serious miscommunication and they have a girl waiting.
Matthew takes her home, where Marilla is upset and determined to send her back. When she meets the woman who will take Anne instead, and sees how horrible she is, Marilla decides she will do her best to raise her.
Anne has had a hard life, her parents dying at a young age in poverty, then being shipped from family to family; mostly being used as a free baby-sitter than treated as a member of the family. She has spent a lot of her time alone or with children much younger than her, and has created habits that some, at that time, find strange. She has an extensive imagination, creates imaginary playmates, and when she does get with people just talks and talks and talks.
Marilla has no idea how to raise children, let alone this girl; so at first she tries to stop this behavior, but eventually it grows on her. Anne gets into all kinds of troubles, making mistakes as she transition from unwanted, uneducated, accident prone girl; to a confident, loved, intelligent, and wonderful woman.
I recommend this book for Austen fans as Anne Shirley is very similar to Fanny Price, Marianne Dashwood, Catherine Morland, and a little of Mr. Darcy. Like Fanny, Anne didn’t grow up as a member of the household in a regular way, often both girls were treated as higher than a servant but not a “real daughter”; that is until Fanny’s aunt and uncle see how much she means to them and is a part of their family; along with Anne finally finding a home in Green Gables.
Like Marianne and Catherine, Anne is a huge fan of reading and a romantic with an overactive imagination. She, like Marianne and Catherine, often has these romantic impulses get in the way of her common sense. Anne does many things, but her most “romantic impulse” is pretending to be The Lady of Shallot and almost drowning in a boat. Marianne also participated in many romantic notions and Catherine’s overactive imagination caused her to suspect Mr. Tilney’s father, General Tilney, of killing Mrs Tilney.
I know a lot of people compare Anne to Elizabeth because both have their pride wounded when they receive an insult about their appearance but to me I think Anne is more similar to Mr. Darcy as both’s temper would be described as:
A lot of people use the interaction between Anne and Gilbert, (him cracking a joke calling her carrots and she smacking him over the head with her slate and from that moment on thinking of him as an enemy)-to compare Anne and Elizabeth Bennet; and while I can see why they would do so I think you could use that same interaction to compare Anne to Marianne. Anne dreams of a romantic hero who is tall, dark, and handsome; Gilbert fits the bill but while it is obvious to us Anne can’t see it as all she has is her wounded pride. Marianne is just as prideful, choosing to dislike Colonel Brandon because Mrs. Jennings wanted to pair them up; and she is insulted that Mrs. Jennings would dare think to do such a thing for Marianne with someone so “old”. Even though Colonel Brandon fits Marianne’s idea of what a man should be, she can’t see past her own wounded pride.
One of my original posts was to share my view on a Bookriot article which compared Jane Austen characters to L. M Montgomery’s, as I disagree with the author. In the article it compared Gilbert to Mr. Knightley, but I don’t see Gilbert and Mr. Knightley being the most similar characters as Gilbert never tried to “help” improve Anne because no one else cared about her moral state. Unlike Emma, Anne had many adults ( Miss Stacy, Mrs. Lynda, Marilla, the pastor’s wife, Matthew, the Barrys, etc) who cared about encourahing her but also helping her grow into a fully developed person; so Anne’s love interest wouldn’t be one who would take on that role. Instead to me, Gilbert is more similar to a Jane Austen character that loves the girl and accepts her, and enjoys her silly qualities and romantic notions. I think a better comparison of Gilbert can be made to Mr. Darcy, (in the way he keeps loving her and tries his best to improve his character and hoping she will see it); but I would say Gilbert is much closer to Mr. Tilney or Colonel Brandon. Both Mr. Tilney and Gilbert have joking sides and are willing to be imaginative but not quite as much as Anne or Catherine. Both, while having these vibrant personalities also choose professions were they have to be a bit more serious; Gilbert with becoming a doctor and Tilney a minister. Both men encourage imagination to a point, realizing there has to be a cap such as Gilbert telling Anne that her boat ride as Eleanor wasn’t the best thought out plan; and Tilney warning Catherine to be wary of letting her thoughts run away with her as they could have serious consequences. Both men never try and change the woman they love but embrace her romantic side.
Gilbert and Colonel Brandon both have had great tragedies in their lives that caused their dreams to not come to fruition. Both are older than the women they fall for, but also encourage them and don’t want to crush their fantastical and imaginative sides; instead loving that about them.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know below.
Either way I strongly recommend this book and the other novels in the Anne of Green Gables series for Jane Austen fans.
I received this book for free quite a few years ago and just never got around to reading it. This year I have decided to read everything in my kindle and decide to whether to keep or delete it.
So this book is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, taking place after Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy, Caroline, and the Hursts have left Netherfield to return to London. Jane is heartbroken:
Elizabeth is furious and doesn’t quite know what to do to help her sister feel better. When the Gardiners invite Jane to London, Jane refuses and Elizabeth decides to take her place. Her mission? Find Mr. Bingley and makes things right. And if she can’t find Bingley, she’ll appeal to Mr. Darcy.
However, when she meets with Caroline Bingley, Caroline is polite but tells Elizabeth that Mr. Bingley is out of town. This doesn’t deter Elizabeth who decides she will head over to Darcy’s house and show up unexpectedly-forgetting about proprietary for her mission.
But Mr. Darcy’s sister should be there, right? It should all be fine.
Meanwhile at the Darcy townhouse none of Darcy’s servants are there, his sister is also not there, and Darcy is trying to set things right as his house did not expect him so early. Elizabeth arrives on his doorstep, the very person he did not want to see as he ran away from his attraction to her.
He doesn’t want to receive her alone for fear it will damage her reputation, but with her sopping wet he doesn’t see any other options. Elizabeth begs Darcy to tell Mr. Bingley that Jane cares for him but Mr. Darcy has decided to stay out of the matter and tells her he refuses to be an intermediary but also will not do anything to stop her plans. This isn’t good enough for Elizabeth and she plans to storm off, but the rain and her missing carriage force her to stay in Darcy’s home. Darcy makes her some tea and plans to send her in his carriage after it returns from its errands. However, before that happens she collapses from fever.
Mr. Darcy takes her upstairs into the only bed with a fire, the one that just happens to be his own, until he can light the fire in the best room-the lady of the house’s room. He then removes her wet clothes, no impropriety as he makes sure he doesn’t see anything, fetches a doctor, and brings his sister home to protect Elizabeth’s reputation.
Elizabeth wakes up and insists on going to her uncle and aunt’s house. She is determined to continue hating Mr. Darcy although she is upset his sister came to see her but he doesn’t come; he only sends fruit and flowers.
A relation of Elizabeth’s Aunt Gardiner, Lady Susan, offers to sponsor her this London season. Originally Elizabeth had planned to return home as soon as she completed her mission, but decides to take Lady Susan up on her offer as it’s the only way to come into contact with Mr. Bingley (and it’s not like there are a lot of eligible men at home.) If she happens to meet someone, it’s two birds one stone.
But does she run into Mr. Bingley? Nope. Instead she keeps encountering Mr. Darcy.
Lord Latham is a long time friend of Mr. Darcy and his sister, Lady Gwendolyn, is head over heels for Darcy. Lady Gwendolyn is set on winning Darcy this season. She arranges for a house party and invites the usual suspects; along with Mr. Darcy and his friend Mr. Bingley (at Darcy’s request.) She also invites Elizabeth as she met her at a party and enjoyed her company at several others occasions. Unfortunately for her, Darcy doesn’t look at Lady Gwendolyn at all, he only has eyes for one lady.
Lady Gwendolyn gets very jealous and tries to sniff out any dirt around Elizabeth. Her maid had a relation that used to work at the Darcy house and was let go. Before they were fired, they witnessed the night Elizabeth came and shares this with Lady Gwendolyn’s maid, who in turn shares it with Lady Gwendolyn. Lady Gwendolyn tells her brother and hopes it will be the piece de resistance that helps her win her man.
Mr. Bingley arrives after the others but before Elizabeth gets a chance to talk to him she goes for a walk with Lady Gwendolyn who drops a bomb on her: Darcy took Bingley away from Netherfield to keep him from marrying into her family. Lady Gwendolyn doesn’t out and admit it is Elizabeth’s fmaily, but she does drop enough hints that Elizabeth pieces this all together.
In Lord Latham’s study he and Darcy are having a discussion and Lord Lathan shares the rumor he heard about Darcy and Elizabeth. Darcy professes his innocence, but is determined to do the right thing in order to save Elizabeth’s reputation. He proposes to Elizabeth “in order to protect her” and not only does she refuse him; but she also throws Wickham’s situation at him. Yep, yikes.
Elizabeth and Lady Susan leave early; along with Darcy and Bingley. This party turned out to be a real downer and not at all what anyone was hoping for.
Georgiana wants to host a party, planning to invite Elizabeth and the Gardiners, but Darcy tells her a little bit of what happened and how poorly Elizabeth thinks of him. Georgina wants to fix this and goes to Elizabeth to tell her the truth about Wickham and his evil ways.
While there, Elizabeth receives a letter from her family and finds out that Lydia has run off with Wickham.
Elizabeth returns home, but luckily all is fixed. Lydia and Wickham marry, Mr. Bingley returns to Netherfield and all is looking good; except Elizabeth has fallen for Darcy and doesn’t have him.
Will she be able to win his heart again? Or has she lost him forever?
I enjoyed this retelling a lot, except for Elizabeth. I felt her character was rather annoying at times (especially in the beginning) and I still couldn’t believe that someone who would be embarrassed so much at her family’s lack of propriety would completely ignore it herself.
But other than that I found myself caught up in the story and wanting to finish it. I enjoyed the new characters although I did feel Lady Gwendolyn was living in bit of a dream world when the truth was obvious. Although like Charlotte said:
There are numerous variations of Jane Austen’s works, but while those adaptations are fun, sometimes you don’t always want to read the same story. Sometimes you want Austen-like works, but not exactly the same as Austen’s works. But what can you read instead?
That’s why I started this series. I will be reviewing books that have components of what we love about the Austen novels, but are not just another retelling, but their own unique story.
Anna and the Duke (An Avon True Romance #4) + (The MacLaughlins #1) by Kathryn Smith
The Avon True Romance for Teens was written by different authors and is a collection of clean, historical romances-written specifically for the teen/YA market. Every book has romantic scenes but nothing that goes farther than light kissing.
Anna and the Duke (An Avon True Romance #4) + (The MacLaughlins #1) by Kathryn Smith
The story begins with Ewan MacLaughlin in Scotland. He is a man of many titles; the Earl of Keir, Viscount Dunkirk, Baron Kyne, a laird in Scotland; but also the first son of the English Duke of Brahm.
Ewan is of English and Scottish descent, but has spent his whole life in Scotland. After his father and mother married, his father left with all his mother’s money and went back to England, only returning when Ewan’s mother died. The Duke left after the funeral to England, remarried, and was never seen in Scotland again.
Ewan has continued to live his life taking care of the land; but all that changes when his father dies and he inherits the title Duke of Brahm, and is invited to his family home.
The last thing Ewan wants to do is go to England and meet his father’s “other family”, but he heads to England. When he arrives in England he is pleasantly surprised to meet a lovely woman in a bookstore who not only enjoys poetry but recommends a copy of Byron for him. He is interested in her but tells himself to focus on the will reading; basically take the money inherited and fix up the land in Scotland.
Anna is a beautiful young lady, who on her first season managed to snag the soon-to-be Duke of Brahm, Richard Fitzgerald. Anna is the daughter of a wealthy merchant who’s social climbing mother desperately wanted her to marry a titled lord and with the dowry Anna has there is no doubt she would be able to win over the “right” man.
Anna is more concerned with love, and is blown away when the sweet and charming soon-to-be Duke, Richard Fitzgerald, pays her attention and asks for her hand. Everything was fine until the Duke died and it was discovered that Richard will not inherit the Dukedom after all, it turns out that he has a secret older brother who will inherit the title and property. This doesn’t matter to Anna, but ever since the news dropped Richard has been acting odd. At first Anna writes it off as grief, but then begins to wonder did she ever know her fiancé?
She meets a handsome Scottish man in the bookstore and gives over the copy of Byron she was planning on purchasing. She finds him very attractive and interesting, but ignores this interest as she is an engaged woman. That evening all meet at the Fitzgerald’s home and Anna discovers that the handsome man she meet in the bookstore is Ewan, Richard’s brother.
Hester, the Duke’s second wife, and Emily (her daughter and the boys’ sister) both eagerly welcome Ewan into their home and he equally enjoys spending time with them. Ewan gets along with everyone, he and Anna having quite a lot in common…the only dark clouds being Richard and Anna’s mother (who is upset that her daughter won’t marry a Duke after all).
Ewan discovers that there is more to his father than he thought, learning from Hester and Emily about the type of father he was and also reading the letter left for him. He becomes thankful that he came to England as it was able to help him finally come to terms with the baggage he was carrying and because he enjoys being with Anna.
Yes, ouch he fell for his brother’s girl; but tries hard to not show it as he doesn’t want to steal something else from his newfound brother. However, Anna has also fallen for Ewan, although she knows that she shouldn’t try to be with him as she is engaged and doesn’t want to hurt Richard. That is, until Richard starts acting terrible and Anna realizes that she knows nothing about the man she is engaged to, she only know of the “pretend” version he played to get her dowry, a sizable fortune and part of her father’s company.
While Ewan and Anna are trying to keep their relationship at friendship level only, someone is after Ewan. Someone is trying to prove him illegitimate, and one night he is attacked by some ruffians. Thoughts turn to Richard being the one behind this, but could it be Anna’s mother?
Eventually Anna and Ewan cannot hold back their feelings any longer and both confess their attraction to each other. They plan to run away to Gretna Greene, but on the night of their elopement Ewan is captured.
Will Ewan make it out alright or be killed? Will Anna find her love? Will everything end happily ever after?
This is a fun and sweet read with some light suspense as we try to discover if Ewan will make it out okay and run away with his love.
I recommend it for Jane Austen fans as it is a regency romance that has a main character who loves to read poetry and has had it influence her ideas of love like Marianne Dashwood and Catherine Morland.
Our main character also has a social climbing mother obsessed with marrying her off and often embarrass her in front of people; along with a physically present father but one who is absent emotionally; just like Elizabeth Bennet.
On Saint Patrick’s Day, my sister and I wanted to watch As Luck Would Have It, but I needed a Hallmark subscription and signed up for the seven day trial with full intention to end it as soon as the film was over.
Even though I chose not to renew the subscription, I still had the rest of the week to use it and decided to peruse what films and TV shows were being offered. Once such film I saw was Unleashing Mr. Darcy and I figured why not take advantage and use this time to review it.
This movie was terrible! I struggled so much with watching it that I actually had to stop watching it twice as the Elizabeth depicted in this was one of the worst I have ever seen.
The hallmark film is based off a book and while Unleashing Mr. Darcy could be seen as clever; I’d rather it be called Elizabeth Bennet the Incredibly Rude Girl.
The film starts off with Elizabeth Scott (Cindy Busby), a history teacher, being bribed by the father of one of her students who wants his son to get a passing grade so he can continue to win at lacrosse. She refuses most definitely and then decides to spend her birthday doing her favorite thing; attending a dog show with her pup.
At the dog show she spots the very handsome dog show judge, Donovan Darcy (Ryan Pavey), and is smitten. When it is her turn to be judged; Darcy is extremely professional and this upsets Elizabeth. She’s mad that he didn’t fawn over her or “at least smile” as she tells him.
Yes, she’s incredibly rude to a judge who is currently judging her dog. She’s astonishingly unprofessional and rude. She then goes to her sister and friend and talks bad about Darcy, even though he did nothing wrong.
Elizabeth wins the dog show and instead of being pleased that Darcy is a professional and judged her on her dog’s merits than her terrible rudeness, she continues to talk about how terrible he is, when he did nothing to her.
Afterwards they go out to celebrate Elizabeth’s birthday when it just so happens Darcy is eating there too with his sister. He is polite and says hello; along with introducing his sister, Zara. Zara makes a joke about her brother being important and her being a little person and Elizabeth is incredibly rude again, to his face and in front of everyone!
Her sister and family friend all are in shock, but Elizabeth defends her rudeness claiming he had it coming and that even his sister doesn’t like him. Ugh I had to stop watching as I really wanted to smack this girl.
After a day I picked up the film and Elizabeth gets accused of asking the parent for a bribe (the parent lying about what really happened) and is suspended. She is later let go and without anything else to do, she takes up her friend’s offer to be a dog handler and train her dogs. She moves to New York City to stay with the family friend, and moves right across the street from Darcy.
When she sees Darcy she continues to be incredibly rude to him for absolutely no reason at all and he remains classy and polite to her; although I don’t know why as she doesn’t deserve it.
Darcy’s dog is having puppies and he invites Elizabeth to see them. She goes over but he has been called away with a work emergency (she being very rude about it) and meets Darcy’s aunt and “supposed fiancé” (his aunt’s choice). Darcy’s aunt is rude but Caroline isn’t that terrible, I would rather she date Darcy than the Elizabeth featured in this film.
I know sacrilege, but I can’t help it, this Elizabeth is terrible.
Later Elizabeth gets word that the father that accused her of bribery, is trying to sue her. She is very upset over it all and goes for a walk with her dog. She runs into Darcy who is polite, asking her about her day and again she is incredibly rude, yelling at him and accusing him of never having a hard day and having no real problems. Mr. Darcy is a gentleman and ignores the terrible behavior; and for some reason that I cannot understand falls for her.
Someone get this boy some help.
Elizabeth later finds out from her friend that Darcy’s “perfect life” (her preconceived notions/prejudices) is not so perfect after all as Darcy is an orphan and he was left in charge of his sister even though she was very young and he was barely out of high school. He really fought to have her as he didn’t want them to be separated as he didn’t want Zara to lose another person in her life. Yeah feel bad Elizabeth, feel bad.
Again I had to take a break as she was just so infuriating. It turns out Elizabeth is fantastic at dog showing and winning ribbon after ribbon. Her friend continues to try and match Darcy and Elizabeth up, constantly trying to find a way to throw them together, etc.
In the end they have their happily ever after but I hated this film. Elizabeth was rude and immature; having none of the warmth or wit that causes viewers to admire her. Darcy was perfectly fine and I didn’t understand her dislike as nothing he did merited this “disgust or frustration.” He never insulted her or did anything to deserve this ire.
The only good part of the film was the Henry and Jenna/Mr. Bingley and Jane scenes as they were adorable. The problem was there wasn’t enough of them.