Jane Austen (Little People. BIG DREAMS) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Another Jane Austen biography for children?
But before I start my review, let me pause and say:
Happy Birthday Jane Austen!
Yes, today marks her 246th birthday, and I thought what better way to celebrate than by reviewing a Jane Austen biography.
This year for my littlest niece’s (5 years old) Christmas gift, I bought her some tiny tea cups that she could have tea with. You see when she visited this summer I converted her to a love of tea and tea parties and want to reenforce that as much as possible.
Of course something else I am trying to brainwash encourage in the younger members of my family is a love of Jane Austen. I had already bought this niece the Babylit books and needed something else Jane Austen related that fit her age. I thought about gifting her the same book I gave my 10 year old niece, A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice, but decided to wait as that book was more advanced and designed for older children. Instead I starting searching for something suitable for a 5 year old.
I started searching through Amazon (I don’t have a local bookstore) and found this biography from the Little People, BIG DREAMS series. It looked cute so I ordered it, and of course had to give it a quick read and review.
I really liked the amount of pictures to text this book had as it was a great balance for a children’s book. It gave a basic biography in easy to understand terms, while still telling a cute story that children in the age range of 4-7 years will enjoy following.
I also loved how it highlighted her playwriting and the way her family would act her works out.
But the thing I enjoyed most of all about this book is that instead of just mentioning Pride and Prejudice or Elizabeth Bennet, it actually highlights all the heroines of her novels. You hardly ever see anything that mentions Fanny Price/Mansfield Park, Catherine Morland/Northanger Abbey, or Anne Elliot/Persuasion in kids books and I’m so happy this one did. I need to lay the groundwork for Northanger Abbey.
If there are parents, or kids, who are interested in knowing more about Jane Austen, there is an expanded short biography in the back of the book.
I thought it was a cute book and a great one for kids.
If interested in purchasing, click on this link. (If you do choose to purchase through the link provided, a small percentage does go to me through the Amazon affiliate program).
So I don’t usually write one of these, but thought why not do a holiday guide this year? A few days ago I posted on Jane Austen products, but I thought I would I also share some books that would make the perfect gift for the holidays.
I do not receive any money from any of these books for promoting them, I am just honestly sharing books I have enjoyed and I think you, or your loved ones will. I have attached links to all the items if any of you are interested in purchasing any of these products. If you do choose to purchase an item from Amazon, by going through these links, I will receive a small percentage through the affiliate program.
So enough business:
It’s time for Christmas!
This list of books are the perfect gift for Janeites in your life OR you could always share this list with your loved one that may be struggling to find you the perfect gift.
The books are all listed in alphabetical order and it was SO HARD to choose just 10 books. I really tried to create a variety of books and genre types in order to ensure I have something for everyone.
Babylit Jane Austen by Jennifer Adams and Allison Oliver
Do you have a little one on your Christmas list? Why not start their love of Jane Austen early with these Babylit board books? Babylit has taken three Jane Austen novels and turned them into board books that cover topics important in children’s development from birth to 5 years old. Each one has lovely illustrations and are the perfect addition to the young child in your life’s bookcase. Sense and Sensibility covers opposites, Pride and Prejudice is on numbers, and Emma is on emotions.
I absolutely LOVE these books and they are always a constant on my gift list. Every time I gain a new niece, cousin, or a friend has a baby, these three becomes a birthday or Christmas gift.
The Quill Ink had published several anthologies on Jane Austen variations: some are set in different time periods, some answer “what if” questions, are told from secondary characters’ points of view, etc. There are so many great stories in these anthologies that I just couldn’t pick one, I had to include them all. If interested in more detailed reviews, just click on the titles.
These books are available in print, as ebooks, and in audiobook format; so however they like to read, there is an option for them! I personally don’t feel like Christmas is coming until I listen to my audiobook of Yuletide (over and over and over again).
Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes #1) by Sonali Dev
Is the person on your shopping list looking for a more contemporary Jane Austen novel? Maybe they would like to see diverse characters? Then Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors is a great choice for them. In this Darcy is Trish Raje, Indian royalty and a doctor; with Elizabeth having become D.J. Caine, multiracial chef (Anglo-Indian and Rwandan). After a series of misunderstanding in their first meeting, Trish and DJ end up being thrown together when Trish has to take over the planning of an event for her sister. There are a series of missteps and mistakes, but in the end romance will always triumph.
As a biracial person I really enjoyed seeing that represented, along with this not only be a story of falling in love, but the love and comfort food and family can bring to us.
Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen by Rachel Dodge
Do you have a friend that loves Jane Austen and devotionals? Then this is the one that you need to get them. There are 31 chapters to read, for every day of an average month, that take you section by section through Jane Austen’s prayers. This is a great way to refocus your life, learn about Jane Austen, and increase your prayer time.
I really enjoy this devotional and read it at least once a year (typically in the days that lead up to Christmas). Plus Rachel Dodge has great customer service. I ordered autographed bookplates for her books for Christmas last year and they never arrived. I contacted her about it and she sent new ones immediately.
This is an older book, as it was published in 2011, but it is such a wonderful and funny book and perfect for fans of dating shows (and a great way to pass the time while we wait to see if Peacock will really make their Pride and Prejudice/Regency inspired dating show.) in this Chloe Parker is a single mom in need of money to keep her business afloat so she applies to be on a Jane Austen TV show. However, when she gets there she finds out that the network felt they needed a change and now it has become a “The Bachleor-esque”competition. Chloe is convinced to stay and try to win her own “Mr. Darcy”…but what if she doesn’t fall for the “Mr. Darcy” but for another man on the show? Will Chloe get her Jane Austen ending? Or go home with no money and no man?
I LOVE THIS BOOK! This is the sequel to Austenland, although both books are independent stories and do not have to be read in order. This book has romance, mystery, comedy, and more. It’s the perfect book for anyone who loves Agatha Christie and Jane Austen.
After Charlotte’s husband cheats on her, leaves her, and remarries she finds herself at a loss of what to do. She ends up finding a teenage list of things she wanted to do before 30, one of which is to read all the Jane Austen novels. She does and of course becomes a fan, deciding to take a vacation to Austenland in England. While the Regency activities are fun, something mysterious is going on. Will Charlotte be able to figure out this whodunnit, or will she become the next victim?
This is a fantastic book and I strongly recommend it.
Emma: Manga Classics adapted by Stacy King and illustrated by Tse
Do you have a teenager you want to introduce to Jane Austen? Do you know someone who loves Manga and Jane Austen? Then this reimagined classic is perfect for your holiday shopping list! This Emma manga has beautiful illustrations that bring the classic tale to life.
I bought this for my teenage niece, of course had to read it first, and loved it! It is definitely a great addition to a Janeite’s shelf.
Are you looking for a biographical fiction book on Jane Austen for someone on your list? This is a wonderful book and fits that slot! This book is part of a series on famous women, but do not have to be read in order and all the books are independent of each other.
This book is on Jane Austen’s life and was extremely well done. Not only was it a fun story, but brought up little real life anecdotes that I just had to learn more about, and would often fall down a research rabbit hole. As there are parts of Austen’s life that we know little about, the author does take some liberties in telling the story. However, I felt the author tried to tell a story that does its best to represent Jane Austen.
I really enjoyed it and I think that if you have a friend who loves Jane Austen and wants to know more about her, but doesn’t care for typical biographies, this is a great route to take.
Do you know someone who loves Jane Austen but is also into science fiction? Then this is the perfect book as this adaption of Persuasion has a SciFi twist. Set in the not too distant future, the author has welded Austen’s classic take of love lost, love returned, and misunderstandings with cyborg-like accruements. Elliot’s (Anne) old love has returned with a new name and new enhancements. But can the bitterness and hurt be laid to rest, or will this couple face even more odds at romance.
I enjoyed this book a lot and felt that the fusion of genres was extremely well done.
The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries by Emma Thompson
Do you have a friend/family member that loves Jane Austen and their favorite film is Sense and Sensibility (1995)? Then this would be perfect for them. The book has an intro by producer Lindsay Doran, the screenplay to the film, and the notes Emma Thompson made while filming. It is a great behind the scenes look that is perfect for the Janiete on your list.
I personally loved reading about how they had to work together to overcome cultural and at times language barriers-being an American producer, British screenwriter/actress, and a Taiwanese filmmaker.
So of course this is just a small sampling of all the Jane Austen adaptations out there, but I hope that this has helped some of you who might be searching for that perfect Jane Austen gift for your friend or loved one! If none of these strike your fancy, I will post links to my posts that list all the Jane Austen adaptions I have reviewed.
I wish you all a happy holiday and happy holiday shopping!
So I don’t usually write one of these, but thought why not do a holiday guide this year? All the items I have put on here are items I have used in the past and enjoyed, and recommend to others.
I do not receive any money from any of these stores for promoting them, I am just honestly sharing items that I have enjoyed and think make perfect gifts. I have attached links to all the items if any of you are interested in purchasing any of these products. If you do choose to purchase an item from Amazon, by going through these links I will receive a small percentage through the affiliate program. Any item you purchase through MadsenCreations, if you use the coupon code Janeaustenrunsmylife you’ll receive 10% off your whole order!
So enough business:
It’s time for Christmas!
Yes, Christmas is coming and I thought I would put together a list of some of the best Jane Austen products I have personally come across. These items are perfect gifts for Janeites in your life OR you could always share this list with your loved one that may be struggling to find you the perfect gift. You know what I always say:
All the items are not in any particular order, although I did try to break up the apparel, that way there are not clothes one after the other.
Litographs Jane Austen Shirts
Back when I first came across this company I did a post on them. Litographs is a company that prints the words of classic books onto clothing and other items, but they don’t just reprint words-they also create beautiful designs. You can currently get products in all of Jane Austen’s completed novels, although as I have only ever ordered the shirts from them, those are the only items I recommend. (Although the Northanger Abbey products are lacking and boring, if you are a Northanger Abbey fan keep reading). I would say women’s clothes fit true to size, while unisex does run a little large.
The items came fairly quickly and they have excellent customer service. I ordered a Pride and Prejudice shirt and it arrived in the wrong size, color, and design. I emailed the company, sent them screenshots of my invoice and the item, and it was replaced immediately. If you have a Janeite who loves wearing the words of her books, this is a great place to shop.
NovelTea Tins is a company that makes tea and gives it a punny literature twist. I have also reviewed them in the past. Featured above is their Sense and Senchability Tea, but they make a Pride and Peppermint as well.
This tea is delicious and comes in cute containers or tins with an adorable matching bookmark. This is perfect for Jane Austen friends and family, along with any tea lovers you know. You can purchase the two Jane Austen teas individually, or get a Romantic Reads sampler that will have the two of them, The Picture of Earl Grey Tea, and three corresponding bookmarks.
They have also just added a third Jane Austen tea, Pemberley Pu-erh, but I have not tried that yet, I cannot recommend it.
So MadsenCreations and I have collaborated on a few things, (more below), but I’m not the only one who has been searching for an item and MadsenCreations has delivered. A while back Austen Therapy remarked about how she wanted a Jane Austen Fanny pack, I recommend she reach out to MadsenCreations, and now you too can have one. These are adorable and great for someone on the go who doesn’t want a full size purse or backpack; but does want to show off their love of Mr. Tilney.
As I have worked personally with this shop I felt they were a great person to work with. I also have not had any issues in speed of service as everything came within a week of my order. And don’t forget, if you use the coupon code Janeaustenrunsmylife you’ll receive 10% off your whole order!
Marrying Mr. Darcy: Pride and Prejudice the Card Game
I received this game for my birthday last year and really enjoy it. When you play you are trying to accomplish two goals at once. On one hand you want to gain cards with the attributes that will help you gain your suitor; along with trying to collect high numbered cards as those points matter in the end. This game is a lot of fun as some characters have special abilities or advantages, and even though you may acquire a lot-you also won’t know if you have won your man until the final roll-too low and he’ll say no.
This definitely is made for fans of the book or movie, although I have played it with my nieces and friends who have never seen or read Jane Austen, and they still had a lot of fun.
I wrote a post on the making of these two items, but I they came to be as I wanted the crop top from Selena: The TV Series and couldn’t find it, so MadsenCreations and I made our own! I also thought it would be cute to have a “Jane Austen Runs My Life” shirt available for any one out there who wants to declare their love of Jane Austen. Both of these shirts are comfortable, and for those not a fan of crop tops, the Jane Austen tee also comes in full size.
And don’t forget any item you purchase through MadsenCreations, if you use the coupon code Janeaustenrunsmylife you’ll receive 10% off your whole order!
I wouldn’t normally be interested in purchasing custom pencils, but I won these in a giveaway. These pencils are cute and perfect for any of your Austenite friends or family members who love office supplies, writing, or would appreciate the artistry and design of these. The creator lives in Ireland, so if you are interested in purchasing them for the holidays, I would put your order in sooner rather than later.
MadsenCreationsNorthanger Abbey Sweatshirt or T-Shirt
Is Northanger Abbey one of your favorite books and are you disappointed at the lack of Northanger Abbey products out there? Well I sure was! I contacted MadsenCreations and we designed thisNorthanger Abbey sweatshirt and long sleeve shirt. And guess what? It also comes in children’s sizes!
This sweater is warm, cute, and perfect for any Northanger Abbey fan (or any future fan).
Also again, don’t forget that if you use the coupon code Janeaustenrunsmylife you’ll receive 10% off your whole order!
So I am very allergic to scents and a lot of skin products and that means everything I have has to be scent-free, hypoallergenic, and boring. I thought that’s how my life would be, until I tried some Northanger Soapworks. This soap is inspired by Jane Austen works and comes in a variety of different scents. I’ve never had any skin related issues with them and the scents also don’t affect my allergies.
Every item comes wrapped in cloth with a beautiful little note card that makes this perfect for Jane Austen fans and any one on your Christmas list. I’ve ordered soaps, bath salts, and candles from her and been happy with all of them.
She also offers wonderful customer service. Once I even put the wrong address in for my order, I contacted her, and she immediately resolved it.
A friend of mine gave me these socks for Christmas a few years ago and I love them. They are comfy, cute, and the perfect Jane Austen stocking stuffer (pun intended). I don’t think the lavender is still available, but you can order these in dark blue.
Christina Boyd, editor of the Quill Ink anthologies, makes these faux-regency inspired notecards. They are hilarious and such fun to send to friends. If you have a Jane Austen friend or family member who loves to write and mail letters (or who loves a good laugh) you should definitely purchase these for them.
I hope this helped some of you who might be searching for that perfect Jane Austen gift for your friend or loved one! I wish you all a happy holidays and I hope to have a part two with my top 10 books perfect for Jane Austen holiday gift giving.
So the last chapter of Desire and Decorum, was really bothering me. In it it you, the main character, discovers that you were not illegitimate as your parents were married, but that they were annulled before you were born. Your father still wants to write you into the will but I’m questioning the whole legality of it all.
So I decided it was time to do some research and see if I could find some answers.
Before the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857 divorces had to go through the Church and Parliament. The church would only give legal separation, while if you wanted a real divorce in order to remarry you would need to go through Parliament as well. Parliament divorces were very, very expensive and you had to take legal action in a three courts: ecclesiastical (church), common-law court, and finally Parliament.
No amount of money could give you a quiet divorce, as any divorce was a huge scandal as newspapers would play it up. And it would be a stain on both spouses’ characters, although men would get over it must faster (think of Maria Bertram-Rushworth in Mansfield Park).
So we know divorce was difficult, but what about an annulment? I had to keep digging.
The church occasionally did some annulments in certain cases. The annulments were only granted if the marriage wasn’t consummated (they didn’t sleep together), a man married his dead wife’s sister (it was seen as too close to a relative although marrying your first cousin was alright 🤷🏻♀️ ), or if it turned out one of the couple had committed bigamy.
So none of those reasons would apply here for the game as the character’s mother was pregnant (obviously they consummated), no previous marriage had taken place to invoke a “too close relationship”, and there was no bigamy. Of course the grandpa could have said that she was sleeping around, but that wouldn’t grant his son an annulment he would have had to be granted a divorce and the game was specific to annulment. It was clear, more digging must be done.
Annulment by not consummating the relationship was really hard to prove. More often then not either the husband or wife had to be examined and declared impotent. This rarely happened as it had to be proven by a medical examination, which as I’m sure as you can imagine, very few people would succumb to having.
Annulments could also be granted if there was an error in name on the marriage certificate, they were too young and married without parental consent (they would have to go to Gretna Greene to do that), or if they were deceived as to who they were marrying. All of which don’t apply here.
Insanity was another route for annulment but it was very tricky to prove (and still is today) as one would have to prove that the person was insane at the time of the marriage. For instance look at the case of Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre, as he didn’t suspect she was crazy in the beginning (her family hid it well) he can never get a divorce or annulment and instead has to live with a crazy woman who is constantly trying to kill him. Also most families would fight this route as being named insane would taint an entire family and family line as well.
If a woman’s marriage was annulled, she was reduced from the status of wife to concubine, and any children the couple had were declared illegitimate. So that tracks right in the game, as my character is still illegitimate. But could an illegitimate inherit? And I still haven’t figured out how the grandfather had them annulled.
So I did some more digging and discovered that if a couple was annulled the woman would have a ruined reputation and:
“Also, any children of an annulled marriage become bastards (who cannot inherit or be declared legitimate at the whim of the peer) and likewise outcasts of society.”
So it looks like that plot point in the last chapter is impossible. The MC/Catherine would never be able to inherit, even with my father writing me into the will. The only way I could would be if I was to prove that the annulment never legally took place and my stepmother’s marriage is invalid.
This does kind of kill the spirit of the game for me as it only took me a day to research this, which any of their staff could have easily done. But maybe there are more twists coming, I guess I’ll just have to keep playing to find out.
So we are almost done with going over my Jane Austen 29th Birthday Party planning.
This is the very last post as we have reviewed everything there is to review, except the music.
So I saved this for last as this was the last thing I worried about in my party planning. I have a prime membership and with that comes free access to Amazon Music and Amazon Music has almost all the Austen soundtracks for free.
You can listen to my playlist by clicking here or look them up from the list below.
Pride and Prejudice (1995) Theme
Emma (1996) AKA The Gwyneth Paltrow Version Theme
“Frank Churchill Arrives” from Emma (1996) AKA The Gwyneth Paltrow Version
“Mr. Knightley Returns” from Emma (1996) AKA The Gwyneth Paltrow Version Theme
“Dawn” from Pride and Prejudice (2005)
“Meryton Town Hall” from Pride and Prejudice (2005)
“Liz on Top of the World” from Pride and Prejudice (2005)
“Georgiana” from Pride and Prejudice (2005)
“Your Hands Are Cold” from Pride and Prejudice (2005)
“Mrs. Darcy” from Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Mansfield Park (2007) Theme
Northanger Abbey (2007) Theme
Persuasion (2007) Theme
Sense and Sensibility (2008) Theme
“Austenland” By Emmy the Great from Austenland (2013)
“Austenland Symphony I” from Austenland (2013)
“L.O.V.E. D.A.R.C.Y.” By Emmy the Great from Austenland (2013)
“Only You” By Emmy the Great from Austenland (2013)
“What Up” By Emmy the Great from Austenland (2013)
Trio for Flute, Piano, and Cello No. 31 in G Major
I just played it on repeat throughout the whole party.
That’s the final piece of the party planning, if you missed any of the previous posts just click on one of the links below: