Rational Creatures: Anne Elliot, Mrs. Croft, Mrs. Clay, & Louisa Musgrove

Rational Creatures edited by Christina Boyd

For those of you who might have missed the last post, Rational Creatures is an anthology of short stories on the different women of Jane Austen:

But not just the main heroines-there are a few other side characters like Miss Bates-and of course a couple of bad girls like Mary Crawford and Mrs. Clay. Each story gives us a look at these rational creatures.

So far we have reviewed Elinor and Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility with Self-Composed by Christina Morland and Every Past Affliction by Nicole Clarkston; Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte Lucas from Pride and Prejudice in Happiness in Marriage by Amy D’Orazio and Charlotte’s Comfort by Joana Starnes;  Emma Woodhouse, Miss Bates, and Harriet Smith from Emma in Knightley Discourses by Anngela Schroeder,The Simple Things by J. Marie Croft and In Good Hands by Caitlin Williams, & Fanny Price and Mary Crawford from Mansfield Park in The Meaning of Wife by Brooke West and What Strange Creatures by Jenetta James And what have I thought of it so far?

This one is on Persuasion:

In Persuasion, Anne is the middle daughter of a Baron and is often ignored by her father who really only cares about himself. She becomes engaged to a naval soldier, but after speaking to her mother’s best friend, was persuaded it wasn’t the right decision.

Hmm…

Years pass, and another proposal, and Anne has grown older, wiser, and regretted turning her love down. With her father spending more than they have, they have to let the house, and the Admiral and Mrs. Croft rent it. Mrs. Croft’s brother, Captain Wentworth, comes to visit who happens to be the same soldier that she was engaged to! I don’t have to tell you that an interesting plot ensues!

I’ve only read a few adaptations of Persuasion and I’m excited to read this one. I like that there is a Mrs. Croft story.

An Unnatural Beginning by Elizabeth Adams

The story takes place before the events in Persuasion, starting when Charles Musgrove is trying to court Anne, but she is not interested, she still pines after Wentworth.

It’s not that Charles Musgrove is a bad man its just he isn’t the right man.

“He was a perfectly decent man. Kind, respectable, well-mannered. But alas, he possessed one fatal flaw that not even the best of manners could redeem.

He was not Frederick Wentworth.”

And being with Charles only makes her think even more when she met Commander Wentworth. He was visiting his brother in Monkford and Anne encounters him at a get-together and the two spend time together. She is completely struck by him.

With him

Back to the present, Charles continues to talk and court her, but she isn’t really present. The flame of her youth feels like it is dying.

Frederick proposes and Anne accepts, but then when she seeks advice-Lady Russell resoundly says no. I really enjoyed this part as all of Lady Russell’s arguments are extremely valid. I mean things could go wrong and she could become  poor widow-a poor widow who’s father isn’t going to help out (you’ve seen him). Or she could have ended up like Mrs. Price, Fanny’s mom.

“A large and still increasing family, an[sic] husband disabled for active service, but not the less equal to company and good liquor, and a very small income to supply their wants…”

I really enjoyed how Adams makes Lady Russell not evil, cruel, or even a snob (just a touch snoby). And I liked how fear drove Anne’s decision to break it off with Wentworth, but it is an extremely relatable fear

I really liked that we got a view into both proposals, as I have always wanted to see how both went down. And raise your hand if you think Charles continued to pine after Anne even though he married her sister (that line about Sir Elliot moving Charles to take Mary off his hands was gold.)

Both hands are up!

But that ending though. It pierces the heart.

 

This story was so sad, absolutely heartbreaking, but in a god way. A real way. This was so relatable and I really loved the language used. One of my favorite parts is when she describes how she feels about her beauty and youth fading. I think we all feel that when we are disappointed, injured, or broken in love, that we used to be more fun, gregarious. etc. The whole thing was so good, so sad, so heartbreaking, and I think Jane would be proud. As for me:

I’m going to hide under the covers with my ice cream

Just kidding. It was a wonderful read, just get those tissues ready.

For more on Anne Elliot, go to Austen Avengers Assemble!

Where the Sky Touches the Sea by KaraLynne Mackrory

So this story picks up in the middle of Persuasion about chapter 8 before and after the dinner party. The Crofts are heading to out and their gig gets stuck in the mud, but they get through it together. This leads Mrs. Croft to think on their relationship and thier marriage.

This story was so cute and sad. But the good kind of sad. I don’t know how to review it without giving anything away. Just be prepared, if you are a crier-have tissues ready. It is just a sweet little story.

I’m so sad and happy!

I’ve always loved the Admiral and Mrs. Croft and it makes me love them more. One thing I love about Jane Austen is how she has these horrible marriages (like Charles and Mary Musgrove, Sir Walter, etc.) but then these amazing ones like he Crofts. I think Mackrory really got the heart of the characters and I loved her story.

So romantic! So cute!

For more by KaraLynne Mackrory “Clandestiny” from The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency

For more on Mrs. Croft, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

The Art of Pleasing by Lona Manning

So Mrs. Clay has an interesting backstory in this. She was “married” to a corrupt merchant who juggled the book and raked in every extra but he could. When things got too heated he took off, leaving Mrs. Clay with her two boys and nothing.

She heads home hiding her disgrace under the guise of widowhood and then implements herself into the Elliot household. It wasn’t her idea, but her father’s, the Elliot’s solicitor, as he wants her to gather intel on the Elliot’s expenditures and hopefully influence them to spend less.

Mrs. Clay does so and better than ever. She becomes Elizabeth’s best friend, so much that Sir Walter and Elizabeth choose to take her with them to Bath and leave Anne behind.

Ouch

Mrs. Clay can’t really stand either of them, but is thrilled that about her new position. So thrilled at how Sir Walter trusts and leans on her. With this new possibility opening up, now Mrs. Clay starts using all her wit to try and snare him. She doesn’t like him, but does like becoming a lady, having a father for her sons, prestige, etc. And to rub Elizabeth, Anne, and Lady Russell’s faces in it would be great as well.

Sucks to be you

Everything was going well until Mr. Elliot came to town.

Smarming and plotting away.

Yes, Mr. Elliot plans on seducing both sisters and Mrs. Clay away from Sir Walter. Will she resist or succumb?

Hmmm

I really enjoyed this as I always thought Mrs. Clay (like Charlotte Lucas) was cunning, although much shrewder, and a bit more a mistress of her fate than they show in adaptations. I like how the author made her witty and shrewd even though she wasn’t “educated”. (That line about Paris was hilarious). This was great and spot on-that ending was perfect.

“A lady would have said, ‘Sir! What do you take me for?’

I whispered, ‘Yes.”

She and Mr. Elliot deserve each other.

Good job!

And this was perfect right after the two sadder stories.

For more by Lona Manning, go to “The Address of a Frenchwoman” from Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MILD

Louisa by the Sea by Beau North

So we start this story after Louisa has had her fall. Louisa was very headstrong, stubborn, and always insisted on having her own way-

There was too much wind to make the high part of the new Cobb pleasant for the ladies, and they agreed to get down the steps to the lower, and all were contented to pass quietly and carefully down the steep flight, excepting Louisa; she must be jumped down them by Captain Wentworth. In all their walks, he had had to jump her from the stiles; the sensation was delightful to her. The hardness of the pavement for her feet, made him less willing upon the present occasion; he did it, however. She was safely down, and instantly, to show her enjoyment, ran up the steps to be jumped down again. He advised her against it, thought the jar too great; but no, he reasoned and talked in vain, she smiled and said, “I am determined I will:” he put out his hands; she was too precipitate by half a second, she fell on the pavement on the Lower Cobb, and was taken up lifeless! There was no wound, no blood, no visible bruise; but her eyes were closed, she breathed not, her face was like death. The horror of the moment to all who stood around!”

We start off with her recovering and North does a great job showing what it is like. My friend’s brother injured his head in a car accident and North was spot on with what they go through .

Louisa slowly recuperates, and who is by her side? Wentworth? No. Captain Benwick. Captain Benwick has a sad backstory, he fell in love with a woman who became sick and passed away. He hasn’t been able to do much since, but here he aids Louisa, by her side every moment, eating with her, reading to her, just all around supporting her.

So romantic! So cute!

The rest of her family feels awkward or unsettled or unsure what to do, but Benwick takes charge and helps.

Louisa has to relearn what to do, has violent headaches, a lot of trauma to noise, and seizures. Everyone thinks she is in love with Captain Wentworth, but Louisa has fallen head over heels (literally?) for Captain Benwick. Now how to convince him?

Hmmm….

Oh my gosh this story was so cute. I never really liked Louisa in Persuasion she just kind of annoyed me and of course we want Anne and Wentworth TOGETHER. But this gave a whole new spin and view on her. And I have always loved Captain Benwick, and I think this story just continued to show how wonderful a character and man he is. And they are so gosh darn cute together!!

“Are you certain?’…’Am I certain? No, my dear captain, it is far worse. I am determined.”

Aw! Squee!!

For more by Beau North, go to “Fitzwilliam’s Folly” from Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MILD

These stories were just as great at the others, but be prepared-have tissues at the ready for those first two .

So far all have been amazing and we only have a few stories left?! Where did the time go? How are we almost at the end?

I guess all I can say is stay tuned for the final post.

For more reviews of Rational Creatures, go to Rational Creatures: Fanny Price & Mary Crawford

For more by Christina Boyd, go to Rational Creatures: Emma Woodhouse, Miss Bates, & Harriet Smith

For more Persuasion, go to It Sucks to Be Lady Elliot

For more Austen book reviews, go to Rational Creatures: Elizabeth Bennet & Charlotte Lucas

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 1, The Journey Ahead

So do you all remember the film Big? Tom Hanks is a preteen that wishes to be “big” and becomes a 30-year old man?

He tries to find a Zoltar machine to change him back, but meanwhile works for a toy company to make money. Because of his childlike understanding, he moves straight to the top of the company.

Now his idea for a new toy is a computer game/book that you read but get to make choices as to what will happen next. Well Choices is that.

What?

So a while back they had a preview for an Austenlike game Desire & Decorum

You know me and anything Austenlike or Austen related:

So as soon as it was avliable I decided to play:

You have the choice of being male or female and name. You can also customize your avatar and purchase extras if you want.

So the story is set in 1816 in the country village of Grovershire, England. You have enjoyed your life there but your mother is very ill, and on her deathbed reveals a secret. You have never known your father, but your mother reveals that he is the Earl of Edgewater, a very wealthy and powerful man. The two were in love, but his family drove them apart-and she went to Grovershire. How do you feel? You make the choice.

With the death of your mother you head to Edgewater and to meet your father and his family. Now this is an interesting concept to go with, being born out of wedlock in 1816-not the best way to be treated.

It was very hard when you were considered an “illegetimate” child. You had no legal right to any inheritance unless “an explicit, specific, uncontested written bequest, and inheriting a title from a parent was rare indeed, though not, as we’ve seen, quite impossible.

Ouch

So you are taken to Edgewater and meet your paternal grandmother the Dowager Countess who is quite spunky. Is she an ally? Or will she try and remove you like your mother was removed?

Hmm…

You also meet Mr. Ernest Sinclaire, master of the nearby Ledford Park. He’s handsome, rich, and also the rude man that almost ran you down on his horse a couple days ago. Yes, you have met him before.

I wonder which Austen hero he will be like? Romantic and wise like Colonel Brandon? Idealistic and does the right thing like Edward Ferrars? Broody and serious Darcy? Playful and stern like Mr. Knightley? Serious like Edmund Bertram? Playful like Mr. Tilney? Passionate like Captain Wentworth?

Hmm…

Or will he be a rogue? Sacrifices love for money like Mr. Willoughby? Selfish and narcissistic like Mr. Wickham? An annoying brown-noser like Mr. Collins? A  cruel social climber like Mr. Elton? Only thinks of himself like Frank Churchill? Manipulative like John Thorpe or Captain Tilney? Plotting and cunning like Mr. Elliot?

Hmm…

But more importantly, what about your father. Will he accept you or reject you?

For more Jane Austen games, go to Jane Austen Manors

For more based on Jane Austen, go to Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating

For more Jane Austen stuff, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy final

“Pride takes a hit in this Austen Misadventure”

So this was on my list of Pride & Prejudice-inspired books/films/etc and I have to say it was much better than I expected. I liked how it wasn’t trying to retell the story of Pride & Prejudice, but express the author’s love of the books and films.It is very similar to the film I Want to Marry Ryan Banks, so if you’ve seen that movie and liked it you’ll like this book.

The story starts off with 39 year old, mother of one, divorceé, Chloe Parker. Chloe loves Jane Austen. In fact her motto is:

Specifically Jane Austen

Specifically Jane Austen

Anyways so she enters a contest to compete in a documetary about Austinites. Each contestant will live in a Regency-esque world where they will compete in answering Austen Triva. The winner recieving $100,000. Chloe really needs the money as her old-fashioned letterpress buisness is starting to tank and she might end up having to foreclose on her house.

Chloe figures that this contest is in the bag as she knows oodles about Jane Austen, her books, and Regency trivia. This whole contest is supposed to a throwback to how life used to be. No phones, computers, texting, tweeting, facebooking, myspacing, etc. She can’t wait.

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When Chloe arrives on the set she finds out that the show isn’t a documentary about Austinites, but is a reality dating show, a sort of Bachelor-esque one.

You-serious?-Not-happening-babe!

Chloe is in shock and utter disbelief. She decides that she is through with it as reality show is something she never wanted to EVER be on. She is utterly mortified that she was almost on a Flavor of Love or Farmer Takes a Wife show.

George the producer and director convinces her to stay. He promises that this is vastly different from those other shows as it is all about Regency courtship. No hot tubs, none of those outlandish ways to try and win the guy; but all about proper Regency courtship; no touching, no drinking, no alone time (everything is chaperoned), and to win special outings/events with the bachelor, the contestents had to participate in Regency-esque activities, racking up points. The bachelor is Mr. Wrightman, a wealthy individual who is tired of women being after his money and is looking for love the old-fashioned way. All Chloe has to do is play the part of a down on her luck American heiress who is eager to win a man with title and wealth. It seems so easy, and how can she say no to an Austinte expereience with a hot guy and a chance at a ton of money?

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So now Chloe is dressed in a 19th century style muslin dress, wearing lemon deodorant, and has a reticule full of vinaigrette (to avoid nasty smells), a fan, calling cards, gloves, and a bonnet.

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Now this is an area I thought the author should have changed. 39 is much too old for a woman to be man-catching in Regency times (unless she was a wealthy widow). If I was the author, Karen Doornebos, I would have made her younger. She could have still gone to college and had a child, you would just have to bend the years back. Let’s say she graduated at age 22, got married at 23, and then had a kid at 24. You could make her 30 years old with a 6 year old. 39 is much too old.

She is given a fake bio about her family, with the writer’s trying to keep it as close to her reality as possible. As she has English blood on her maternal side they wrote that her mother is English while her father is American, making her daughter Abigail her sister for the bio.

This is another thing I felt was a bit odd. If the whole dating show is supposed to take place in 1812 why have an American contestant? Would she have even been able to travel over with the blockades? Wouldn’t it have looked like her family was partial to the English side? Wouldn’t it make the English dislike/distrust her? Why not set it in 1811 or  late 1815? And being the only American, man that’s going to be hard on her.

They give the contestants carriage rides to the house, Bridgesbridge, where the women are staying, and as they are riding there, Chloe hears a gunshot and the carriage stops dead in its tracks. Lady Grace of the d’Agrgent family, another contestant, has a pistol and was shooting, “accidentally” hitting the carriage. Chloe has a freakout and faints dead away.

She awakens in her new bedroom under Mr. Wrightman, MD’s care. In fact he carried her in from the carriage area (just like Colonel Brandon in Sense & Sensibility)

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While even though being unconscious and thinking she’d been shot (when her carriage really just turned a wheel) made her feel like an idiot, she does love the idea of Mr. Wrightman having carried her. While Mr. Wrightman isn’t exactly what she pictured (a handsome, blond, spetecle wearing, kind looking man rather than the tall, dark, and brooding Darcy-sque that she was expecting) she is happy to have made his aquaintance.

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Chloe also meets her chaperone (as her character is unmarried she has to have one) Mrs. Crescent, who is very pregnant and ready to give birth anytime soon. Chloe also gets another dose of Lady Grace, the most annoying, vile, and irritating woman in this book. A perfect villain. Chloe isn’t one to stand idly by, but manages to put in quite a few of her own barbs, such as telling Grace that perhaps she will get bullet pudding tonight. She also one ups Grace by stating her father always called her a princess, a rank higher than Lady.

Don't mess with me!

Don’t mess with me!

She also finds out that all the other girls in the house have been there for three weeks already and she was choosen to replace a girl who had to go home due to a family emergency. Chloe feels soooo far behind and doesn’t know how she will ever catch up.

She also finds out that Regency England is lacking in quite a few ways. Besides the lemon deodorant there is weak tea because of the “Napoleonic Wars“, micro amounts of butter, no salt, no pepper, etc. They get a small cake of soap a week, a bath a week, etc.

That would be the hardest thing for me. I was actually surprised that they were able to find as many people who would be willing to give up such niceties. Deodorant, toothpaste, food with taste, soap, indoor plumbing, etc; I know that there are somethings I cannot live without and I don’t know if I could go weeks without them. I need my indoor plumbing, I hate it when I don’t have a proper bathroom. I also couldn’t do a bath only on Sundays. And I’m haf-Mexican, I need spice in my food! I can’t live on bland scrump.

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To make matters worse, any thought of bowing out was quickly destroyed when she hears that her chaperone Mrs. Crescent is eager to win because her child, William, has a tumor and needs an expensive operation. If Chloe wins Mr. Wrightman than Mrs. Crescent gets money too.

Chloe’s having a slight meltdown and all she wants to do is take a shower. Unfortunately as those don’t happen until Sunday, and today is Monday. She can’t handle not getting cleaned up and just happens to look out her window and see a pond. As every true Austenite has seen Pride & Prejudice (1995) she gets the idea of taking a bath in the pond. While she can’t dive in competely like Colin Firth, she is still able to clean a majority of her body.

Just like Mr. Darcy, Chloe is also caught , but by two attractive men. The first is this tall, dark, handsome, Darcy-ian man. He tries to talk to her, but she is so embarrasssed that he caught her she is rude to him. He warns her that she is on Darthworth property which are grounds for termination. As she is gathering her belongings and leaving, she runs into Mr. Wrightman. As Chloe tries to explain what was happening, Mr. Wrightman makes a reference to P&P (1995) telling her that he was hoping she would emerge in a white shirt. Chloe is all:

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The two have a great conversation together and Chloe is amazed at how well they seem to click. In fact, Chloe is starting to think maybe this won’t be so stupid, but perhaps fun as Henry, Mr. Wrightman seems like a really great guy. More Henry Tilney than Darcy, but Tilney isn’t that bad. (In my opinion he’s amazing)

On her way back she meets the rest of the contestants who all seem to be much, much younger and more carefree than her. There is Miss Julia Tripp  who is very exuberant and full of energy, Miss Kate Harrignton who sufferes from allergies, Miss Becky Carver who is African-English and just turned 21, Miss Gillian Potts who is a bit of a whiner, and Miss Olive Silverton who is a tad critical.

When dressing for dinner, Chloe asks Fiona, her maid, who the tall, dark, stranger might have been. Fiona responds that it is Mr.Wrightman. Chloe is confused as the blond doctor is Mr. Wrightman. That is when she finds out there are two Mr. Wrightmans. Sebastian is the brunette and the eldest so he is the one to inherit, the one the contest is all about. Henry, the blond doctor, is the youngest and has to marry wealthy as he won’t have a large inheritence (Very Mr. Tilney indeed). Chloe is horrified that she might have just lost her chance at Mr. Wrightman. Uber embarressment. Very reminiscent of the Sense & Sensibility Mr. Ferrars incident.

So embarressed

So embarrassed

The next day the competition begins as the girls are taught archery and dance. None is allowed to move to the next task until they have finished their first assignment and gained their points for the day. Chloe is far behind the other girls in everything as they have been there for weeks. Chloe even finds out that many of the girls know little about Austen; such as Grace saying that her favorite Austen is P&P, the Keira Knightley version. Obviously not only does she have no idea that P&P wasn’t published until 1813, Sense and Sensibility was the only book out at the moment. Chloe’s reaction to this statement is exactly how I would respond.

“Chloe cringed. Not her favorite adaption. It was historically inaccurate, for one thing…Chloe looked at her in askance…” (Pg. 81)

I know how she feels, that is my least favorite version. For me it is always P&P 1940, then P&P (1995).

Chloe thoroughly enjoys Regency dances, but Grace tries to throw a wrench in her plan saying she can’t dance with a girl who has ink all over her fingers. “She might catch it” Hmmph…what a pansy. Instead Chloe has to dance with Cook, Cook who she relies on and always tries to help her.

Grace and Chloe trade barbs once again, wth Chloe being the victor. However, her win rings hollow when Grace runs off to meet with Mr. Wrightman, having garnered the most points and won time with him.

As Chloe looks outside the window to watch Grace, her spying quickly ends when Mrs. Crescent’s dog Fifi runs off and Chloe runs after him to get him. She runs smack dab into Sebastian and has another awkward conversation with him.

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But by now she’s hooked. He is so dashing, charming, and always knows the right thing to say. Chloe is in this thing totally and completely.

Something that puts a whole damper on the situation is a call from Chloe’s daughter, Abigal. Apparently Chloe’s ex, Winthrop, has met somebody, and is getting married, and wants to change the custody arrangement. Apparently he got a promotion so he won’t be traveling as much anymore. Chloe is freaking out over it, but can’t really get involved as she is away in England.

What else could go wrong?

What else could go wrong?

Also to Chloe’s surprise there is a new guest, Miss Imogen Wells. Apparently she was there the whole time but had to be apart from the others as she was on her period. In olden times when women were having their time of the month they had a lying in time period and had to be away from all the others. Chloe is freaked out that there is another girl to contend with, but quickly gets over that as she finds Imogen to be one of the friendliest girls ever.The two become fast friends. The two both love painting, drawing, and Jane Austen.

I couldn’t imagine being in Regency times on my period, that would be awful. Back then they didn’t have underwear, and you just bleed through your clothes. Washing and changing clothes were seen as unhealthy. Ew! Being on your period is bad enough but without pads, tampons, and in a chamber pot?

However, things take a turn for the better, Chloe gets an invitation to meet up with Sebastian (Mrs. Crescent has to come too) to see castle ruins! And they will all be having diiner at Dartworth Hall the next day too.

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Later that day Chloe is out gathering ingrediants to make ink, Sebastian comes bounding by on a white horse. A man on a white horse?

So romantic

So romantic

Chloe is in deep, and she isn’t looking for a way out.

Later she runs into the other Wrightman brother. He comes upon her as she is painting and compliments her work. (Very reminiscent of Emma, except Herny isn’t the creepy Mr. Elton.)

Imogen and Chloe discuss the two brothers, their merits and qualities. Imogen brings up  her partiality to Henry, as he is honest and forthwright, while Sebastian is more of an enigma.

Chloe goes off with Sebastian and Mrs. Crescent and has a truly romantic time. He even gives her a set of paint, paunting papers, and a pink cabbage rose. Chloe is just drowning in her crush.

162808404She also finds out that Grace is not only after the money, but wants to get her family’s land back. They been lost to the Wrigtmans for centuries and she is still carrying anger for it.

That night is the ball and when the girls get there Chloe immediately checks out the library. I love libraries, I mean I have done all thise book posts. (The Important Things in Life, Surviving the Worst, They Change You, Hardest Decision of My LifeMe, Me & Me Again, Best Pickup Line Ever!, If Onlyand Words to Live By.)

I mean I would rather gush over a library than a man. But hey, that’s just me.

But before the girls can continue to dinner they do the invitation ceremoney (much like the rose ceremony in the Bachlor or the picture one in America’s Next Top Model.)

Imogen, Becky, and Olive end up being sent home. Grace is so annoying and everyone wishes she was sent home, but she makes great TV.

Since Chloe is lower than the other girls, she enters last but she does have Henry to guide her in, and he is also placed next to her. Chloe makes a Persuasion reference about lotion, and while Kate Harrington doesn’t get it, Henry does.

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After the conversation the two have, I would far rather have Henry than to risk getting Sebastian, who one knows nothing about. All are having a wonderful time until Grace pops out a boob in order to get the focus on hre.

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Sebastian makes plans to have a faux fox hunt for the girls. Everyone is excaiming over it when Mrs. Crescent screams out that

The BABY"S HERE!

The BABY”S HERE!

Immediately Chloe goes to help. It turns out to be a false alarm, but Henry seems more interested in her than ever.

Chloe goes out the next day and runs into Henry falconing. The two share some tender moments. She also runs into Sebastian who gives her a message with clues in it to find a great prize.

Instead of trying to make ink to get her accomplishment points, Chloe goes into the kitchen to make strawberry tarts. She isn’t supposed to be in the kitchen as she is a lady, but Chloe finds it so hard to be proper all the time, (blame it on her American upbringing).

Afterwards Sebastian come to take her silhouette. She finds out that he knows more about Chloe as he has had the oppurtunity of watching her audition video, check her facebook, twitter, and research her through the internet. He tells her they have a lot in common. He also takes a lock of her hair. Taking someone’s lock of hair meant you were very interested in them and were planning o courting or possibly proposing. Most would turn them into rings or place them in lockets.

The next day is the fox hunt and Chloe is ready to give it her all.

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The first to reach the area where the faux fox is wins the challenge and accomplishment points. Chloe is in the lead, but as she is going Henry falls off his horse. Apparently his horse was injured. Chloe stops to help him even though she is sacrificing her chance of winning. Henry strips off his shirt so that he could use it to help the horse, but seeing all the blood, makes her faint again.

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Henry wakes her up and kisses her.

Everyone returns indoors after the hunt. Chloe is certain she will be the next to go home as she never made it to the tree. But to her suprise she wins all the points as the real test was to see who would stop.  To add to Chloe’s joy is that she is hosting the after hunt tea. Before they can enter though, they all have to have their reticule’s examined to make sure that no contraband has been carried through. Chloe is sure that she will pass but then they find a condom in her purse.

images-3Chloe is shocked at how that got in there. She argues that it is obviously a plant as why would she even chance it at her own tea party. They let her continue, but tell her that she is on probation until they get to the bottom of it.

What starts out as a normal tea party ends up becoming a a full fledged food fight. Somehow Chloe manages to make it through the next invitation ceremony.

However she feels awful about some of the things she said about Henry when she and Grace were arguing (what escalated into the food fight). So Chloe does the only reasonable thing and dresses up like a messenger boy so she can tell Henry how sorry she is.

I can be a dude. I'm a dude.

I can be a dude. I’m a dude.

This Shakespearean twist isn’t completely crazy. There is no way Chloe could send him a letter, note, or talk to him priovately about how she feels. Women could only do that if they were engaged.

The next day everyone is going to the maze for an outing, but both Grace and Chloe are on probation for their outlandish tendencies. Fifi takes off into the maze and Chloe follows, it begins to pour (hey its England). Instead of turning back she takes off after him to save him., Henry also goes. Fifi gets in a fight with a weasal and Henry runs off with Fifi to help with his wounds leaving Chloe behind. She gets lost and Sebastian goes in there to get her. Carrying her out Colonel Brandon style.

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 He puts her down and as Chloe is making her way to the house she realizes that while she is falling for both men, she needs to put her eyes back on the goal and win Sebastian and the $100,000.

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Even though she had just had Sebastian’s arms around her, Chloe is depressed as she looks like a wet dishrag in comparison to the others.

Elinor Dashwood: Marianne, you must change. You will catch a cold. Marianne: What care I for colds when there is such a man. Elinor Dashwood: You will care very much when your nose swells up.

Elinor Dashwood: Marianne, you must change. You will catch a cold.
Marianne: What care I for colds when there is such a man.
Elinor Dashwood: You will care very much when your nose swells up.

She has to return home, quite sad that she couldn’t stay longer.

That night Chloe is able to take a bath, but finds out that she has to take it after all the other girls because she is lower than them. EWWWWW! She has to use USED BATHWATER!!!! NFM! I could not handle that. I’d be in that pond. To make matters worse she finds a mouse in her rooom. It’s just not her day.

What else could go wrong?

What else could go wrong?

Chloe gets a letter from home and becomes extremely stressed out. Without a gym or kitchen to be able to go in and destress, she skips an accomplishment task to take a walk. The cook agrees to cover for her, and Chloe takes off. Running right into Henry and feelings about him that she doesn’t want to think about. The two enojy a bit of birdwatching and she tells Henry that she has a mouse.

She returns home and cook starts grilling her about her about where she has been. She questioned whether Chloe is throwing away her oppurtunity on the penniless brother. This gets Chloe all riled up, but makes her wonder. She finds out that she missed Sebastian calling and Grace won the next outing with Sebastian. Then she ends up fainting. That makes it the third time.

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The next day Chloe gets a present from Mr. Wrightman. It’s a cat! Ah, he’s perfect! He got her a mouser. Now Chloe thinks that Henry told Sebastian, but it is obvious that he sent it. I mean the guys titally in love with her. And I feel that he is a much better guy than Sebastian as he is real. Sebastian is to oily, and too perfect.

Chloe has a moment upstairs when she really wishes she could just chill out to some tunes. Since she can’t she just sings her heart out and does a Sweet Charity number. And to her embarrassment she spots Sebastian watching her through her window outside.

Next up is the archery tournament and one has to get four bulls eyes. Chloe is not on the top of her game and manages to shoot very badly.

Henry loans her his glasses so that she can make her bullseye and proceed to the ball. All us going well until Grace steps on her foot and causes her to miss, sending the arrow right ay Henry. Grace faints once again and Chloe thinks she has just killed him. Henry is alright and Chloe thinks she’s out of the contest. ;(

Chloe ends up getting another shot and gets a bullseye.

Grace gets first place and the first dance with Sebastian. Chloe has second but has to sit out as her arrow went awry. Julia has third. When Chloe returns to her room she finds that her cat has got the mouse and an invite to the Grecian temples with Mr. Wrightman.

Chloe is so excited about her date she bribes a footman to get her a razor and shaves her legs.

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The date isn’t all as she hopes it would be. Sebastian has a toothache and has to suck on cloves as they are “in the 1800s”. Chloe tries to discuss things with him, but garners no response at all. To further ruin the moment, Chloe has to pee and there is no chamberpot in site. Lucky for her Henry’s lab is nearby and Sebastian tells her that he has a water closet. She has more moments with Henry and gets something to help Sebastian’s toothache. She givs him a drop of laudaum, and Sebastian really cuts loose. He starts saying all kinds of things and starts trying to get all over him. Charlotte ends up decking him as he as he tries to pull her dress off. Henry arrives in time to cart him off.

Now here I would have completely jumped off the Sebastian train and gone Henry all the way. Sebastian is a loser.

Grace had been shooting a gun trying to ruin their date and Chloe is set on trying to prove that she is doing all kinds of illegal activities. She finds all kinds of things and even gets caught by Grace as Grace is trying to get down with a footman.

Later she is requested by Mrs. Crescent to help her when she has the baby and tries out some of the toys Henry got for Mrs. Crescent’s children. Chloe then has a very embarressing moment when the contraband she stole from Grace drops out of her bonnet. She leaves and goe to get her new dress finished for the ball and finds that she has lost weight. (Due to her hating and refusing to eat the food offered at the areas). She also spots Grace (through her window) putting the moves on Henry amd becomes livid, though she can’t imagine why. She also gets a note from Sebastian to meet up during the ball in the icehouse. She is extremely worried as she hopes that they don’t have a repeat of the Grecian temple.

The have the final invitation ceremony and Julie is sent home; only Grace and Julia are left. Since Mrs. Crescent is about ready to pop she can’t go, so the cook accompanies and chaporones her, rescuing her from the evil clutches of Grace & Co. It turns out the cook is actually Mrs. Wrightman, the Mr. Wrightmans’ mother.

Henry takes her to the library and gives her a first edition of Sense and Sensibility.

So romantic

So romantic

Henry really knows how to win a girl over. I’d propose to him.

Anyways, while they are there Henry reveals his feelings for her quoting P&P

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Chloe gets the second dance with Sebastian and gets to do the dance Darcy and Elizabeth do in the ’95 adaption.

She also makes a great Darcyian refrence, but one that Sebastian does not get. To cause further frown she spots a girl making the moves on Henry. Then when she is about to dance the very risqué waltz with Sebastian she gets a message from Fiona that Mrs.C just went into labor. She steals a horse and is off to help.

However when she gets back to the house she discovers Mrs. C is perfectly fine. Mrs. C is not having a baby. FIONA LIED!!!!!

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She tries to run back to the party and totally messes up her oufit She runs into Henry. He tries to console her. It is then that she ercognizes sge is in the icehouse. When she triesto get rid of Henry as Sebastian is coming Henry is dissappointed (even worsethan angry) and tkes off.

When she meets up with Sebastian she realizes this isn’t what she really wants. He admits to flirting with Fiona. He pulls out a knife and plays with it, (what a psycho) and then tries to strip her. She freaks out and Sebastian proposes. The footman enters and tells them Mrs. C is having the baby. As Chloe tries to leave Sebastian pulls  her back.

Now I don’t know why Chloe says yes, Sebastian is crazy. Ad this dude clearly doesn’t take no for an aswer.

Sebastian lets Chloe take his horse and she goes off. There she helps Henry deliver the baby.

She has a fight with Fiona and goes back to her room. She looks out the window and sees Sebastian and Fiona finishing the “horizontal tango”. This man is definitely not Mr. Darcy, Tilney, Knightly, Brandon, Wentworth, Bingley, Ferras, or Bertram.

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He’s nothing but a Wickham, Elliot, Willoughby, and Crawford.

The have a huge fake wedding to end the show. They even bring Chloe’s mom and dad over. Chloe has a huge freakout as she marches down the alley and dumps Sebastian taking off to find Henry. Henry who Chloe has has anounced that she loves.

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As she tries to go to town to get home to her daughter and find Henry. She runs into some people who tell her that Sebastian isn’t the heir to Dartwiorth Hall, but Henry is.

Henry comes after her on a white horse. A WHITE HORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Henry takes her out and explais everything.

Henry is a forty year old man who is heir to the Dartworth estate and a very large fortune. He works as a doctor because he loves helping others. He loves art, architecture, Jane Austen,

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museums, bird-watching, etc. Women have been after him for his name and fortune so he hasn’t been able to settle down. His friend George came up with the idea, and Henry was hoping he would find an Anne Elliot. Sebastian is his cousin, and an aspiring actor, and Lady Anne (the cook) is actually his mother. He hated Grace but had to keep her on for ratings. Henry tells her he loves her, but Chloe is just so angry she returns home, doesn’t want the money, and goes home.

So Chloe goes home. She gets a beatiful letter Henry and the cat, but that is all she takes from Henry.

I would have kept the money and Henry. Chloe is crazy.

So Chloe is back in the states. She has given up in tryingv to find a fary tale guy. She dates regular guys. The only Austen thing she does is watch the show she was on, Dating Mr. Darcy. In the last episode she see that they did exit interviews with everyone but her. Grace went back to her trading firm and is dating a politician. Fiona set a date with her fiancée who is back from fighting in Afgahnistan (the guy she was porking about behind his back). Mrs. Crescent’s son had a sucessful operation and the lump is benign. Sebastian was given a leading role in a TV series and is currently dating one of the milkmaids from the show. Henry ends with a heartwarming plea telling Chloe that she pierce’s his soul and asking her to contact him.

So romantic

So romantic

The book ends with Chloe emailing Henry. Hoping to start a new beginning.

Not exactly the romantic ending one wants but is still quite sweet. So both guys were definitely not Mr. Darcy, but Henry turned out to be one great guy.

For more things based on Pride and Prejudice, go to On the 12th Day ‘Till Christmas: The 12 Men of Christmas (2009)

To read another Pride & Prejudice post go to Parental Favoritism 

To read another Northanger Abbey post go to Storybook End

It is a Truth Universally Acknowledged…

Face it when you hear those words “it is a truth universally acknowledged…” your mind goes immediately to Pride & Prejudice imagining Mrs. Bennet attempting to marry off all her girls.

Jane Austen was such an amazing writer. She creates an opening hook that has you deeply invested in the story within two seconds. This hook is one that has continued to be entertaining for ages. I mean that saying never gets old, but constantly draws you in no matter how many times you have read it.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in posession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

Unfortunately in today’s time, that no longer seems to be true. Most guys who are well off are more interested in sampling honey pots than buying the actual beehive (like my metaphor? I thought it was a nice change from the milk and cow analogy).

If Mrs. Bennet lived today this would be her immediate reaction:

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She’d be like, “go after that man and use every ounce of your feminine wiles to capture him. Don’t let him go.”

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It’s interesting  how marriage was such an important thing for a women in Regency times, especially since the woman’s main role was to be mother and helpmate, but it is a theme that is a major factor only for our Pride and Prejudice heroines.

What?

In Sense & Sensibility, the mother and daughters are not even concerned about marriage, but are focused on their grief for their dead husband and father or occupied on trying to manage their lives in a poorer state of affairs. In Mansfield Park, no one thinks about who Fanny will marry until the rascal Henry Crawford starts paying attention to her. Emma is determined to remain a spinster and her father is thoroughly pleased with that. In Northanger Abbey, Catherine’s family never brings up the question of who and when Catherine should marry. By the time Persuasion starts, Anne has already turned down two proposals but her extremely vain father is not worried over her lack of a martial state but that she isn’t up to his standards of beauty. Only in Pride and Prejudice do we see a mother so determined to marry off her children. Even with the Elliot estate (Persuasion) being entailed, the Bennets are the only ones who talk about their worry on having no male children.

What also is interesting is that even though “a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”; there are many male characters in her novels who have money and do not wish to marry. There is Willoughby, Tom Bertram, Henry Crawford, Captain Tilney, and Mr Elliot (the younger).

  • Mr. Willoughby only marries because his aunt was threatening to disinherit him, and he does not want to be a poor man (whether or not he would have actually married Marianne is a post for another day.)
  • Mr. Elliot is a widower having fun-slightly interested in Anne, and only decides to run off with Mrs. Clay to make sure his uncle doesn’t have a son (trying to protect his inheritance.)
  • Captain Tilney continues enjoying any woman who comes his way, marriage being the last thing on his mind.
  • Tom Bertram has no thought on marriage until his close encounter with death causes him to rethink his life.
  • Henry Crawford is a little different being a Sebastian Valmont-esque character-never interested in marriage but just trying to play around with women, falls for Fanny and tries to win her affections, but ends up creating a huge scandal with her cousin and never marrying.

Of course her books are also filled with men who want to get married, after all if they weren’t would we love them as much as we do?

One of the most intriguing things about this phrase is the statement in “want of a wife”. Want’s two most used definitions are “have a desire to possess” or “a lack or deficiency”. Therefore this statement applies to both Binglely (as one who desires a wife) and Darcy (has a lack of one) along with all the other Austen men. Every Austen hero and villain starts the book off in want of a wife as they do not have one. And by the end of each book all Austen heroes, and some villains, have one.

And just like any other mother, Mrs. Bennet can’t help hoping that her daughters will catch the eye and heart of a single man in possession of a good fortune.

If you are interested in buying a shirt like Lizzie Bennet, Zazzle and Cafepress sell them and many other Jane Austen inspired products

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice

For more on this opening line, go to Opening With…

For more on Mrs. Bennet, go to Parental Favoritism 

For more bible verses, go to Thanks A Lot