Catherine Morland’s Reading List: Frankenstein

Happy Friday the 13th! I don’t know if you have any plans, but as for me I’m going to spend my evening with pizza and horror films.

Since this is Friday the 13th, I decided to share a spooky gothic post.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

You all know how much I love spooky and gothic fiction, almost as much as my girl Catherine does.

That’s why I started Catherine Morland’s Reading List, a list of gothic fiction I recommend for my fellow spooky lovers. 

So what can I say about Frankenstein that hasn’t been said? I of course watched the movie first, and loved it:

Shelley started writing Frankenstein when she was 18, with it being published when she was 20, in 1818- the same year as Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. And it is a mix between gothic fiction and science fiction.

The book starts off with a Captain Walton who is on an Arctic trip and writing to his sister. Every time I read the book I find myself connecting more and more to him than any other character.

“But I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy, and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil, I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection. I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling. I desire the company of a man who could sympathise with me, whose eyes would reply to mine. You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend. I have no one near me, gentle yet courageous, possessed of a cultivated as well as of a capacious mind, whose tastes are like my own, to approve or amend my plans.”

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Who doesn’t feel that lonely at times, especially as the older you get it’s harder to connect with old friends and make new ones..

Captain Walton finds Dr. Victor Frankenstein and learns of Dr. Frankenstein’s quest to hunt down his creature. We learn about how Victor was born into a wealthy family and had a desire to understand the world and create, like what the great alchemists have before him. But instead of trying to turn lead into gold, he wanted to capture life!

This is when things go downhill for Frankenstein. First he decides to create life without thinking about how he will train the creature or what type of morality he should instill in it. Or what it means to have a life breathing person. It’s as if he wanted to make a baby only for the science of it and then when the baby is born abandons it.

Victor also makes the Creature gigantic, about 8 feet in height. You have to remember not only is that really tall, but in 1818 it’s humongous as the average height of men were about 5.5. Compare 8 feet to 5.5

Victor goes to the trouble of trying to make the creature beautiful, but it’s several body parts from different people and is frightening with watery white eyes and yellow skin.

Once everything is completed Frankenstein realizes his mistake, but is unable to destroy it. Instead he just abandons it, adopting that mentality it is “future self’s problem). Frankenstein’s creature escapes from Frankenstein and tries to find acceptance, only to be rejected. He then acts on his emotions and wants; killing or hurting everyone that Frankenstein holds dear to get back at him after Frankenstein refuses to make the creature a female.

There are a lot of different analysis of the book, but to me I always felt that one of the points Shelley was making was the necessity of guidance and a code of morals to live by. You may argue between whether that is a higher power, the law, etc.; but there must be some kind of code of ethics or else chaos reigns. If everyone only went after what made them feel good and what they want terrible things can happen.

I also think it is reminiscent of her father not really guiding his daughter in her life where she was younger, but then trying to be a parent after she was almost an adult and already set in her ways/at an age when she didn’t feel she needed to listen to him. Frankenstein does the same when he abandons the creature, only to later try and have him adhere to Frankenstein’s moral code.

Either way I recommend it for all gothic fiction fans.

For more from Catherine Morland’s Reading List, go to Mexican Gothic

For more Gothic Fiction, go to What’s a Girl To Do When Your Parents Won’t Allow You to Live Your Gothic Dreams?

For more Frankenstein, go to Mysterious Things Have Happened. A Murder in the Village…They Probably Think You, Like Your Father, Have Created Another Monster…: Son of Frankenstein (1939)

How to Throw a Valentea Party

I’m not one of those people who likes to take their holiday decorations right when the holiday ends and set up for the next one. I also celebrate Valentine’s Day until February, but last year I threw a Valentea party in two weeks and wanted to share it with you all. However, I know people need more time than that and wanted to share it with you all.

Christmas 2021 my friend was given a book that had ideas to hold a tea party every month. She held the first party on January 29th and no one wanted to do the next one, the Valentine’s Day party. I agreed and of course had to change the direction to Valentea and Jane Austen.

Invitations:

So the first thing you need for a party is invitations. I like to make my own cards and sent everyone a Valentine. I used romantic and love quotes from my favorite books.

Decorations:

After planning that came decorations. I’m lucky that I still have the ones from my bridal shower. I have reused those so many times! Yep, I used my pink floral table runners, framed Jane Austen quotes (which can be purchased from this shop); along with pink and white flowers.

Menu:

I was able to figure out my menu pretty quickly as I have a Tea Time magazine subscription, a Betty Crocker holiday cookbook, a Nancy Drew Cookbook, etc. I had a lot of recipes to choose from.

Tea Choices:

I wanted everything to be pink and red as it was a Valentea party so I had MadsenCreations make a Red Chai and Pink Moon Tea. I also picked Tiesta Tea Nutty Almond Cream Tea (which turns the water pink).

Food Menu:

We made Teatime Magazine Orange Cream Scones, Tea Time Magazine Lavender White Chocolate & Cranberry-Raspberry Scones, Tea Time Magazine’s Triple Stack Red Bell Pepper and Cream Cheese Sandwiches, Tea Time Magazine’s Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Eating Well’s Radish Tea Sandwiches, French Onion Soup, Tomato Soup, a tart, and Heart Shaped Rice Krispy Treats.

Tea Time Magazine Orange Cream Scones

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cold heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest until combined. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in cold butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup cold cream, 1 egg, and vanilla extract. Add to flour mixture, stirring until a dough begins to form. Working gently, bring mixture together with hands until a dough forms.
  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently 4 to 5 times. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to a 1-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch fluted round cutter dipped in flour, cut 13 scones from dough, rerolling scraps as needed. Place scones 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon cold cream and remaining egg until combined. Brush egg mixture over tops of scones.
  6. Bake until edges of scones are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 18 to 21 minutes. Serve warm.
  7. Optional: Add a glaze.

Tea Time Magazine Lavender White Chocolate & Cranberry-Raspberry Scones

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. ½ teaspoon dried culinary lavender
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. 4 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into pieces
  7. 1 cup chopped dried Cranberries and Raspberries
  8. 1 (4-ounce) bar white baking chocolate, such as Ghirardelli, chopped
  9. 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  10. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, ⅓ cup sugar, baking powder, lavender, and salt, whisking well.
  4. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add cranberries, strawberries, and chocolate; stirring until combined.
  5. In a liquid-measuring cup, combine cream and vanilla extract, stirring to blend. Add to flour mixture, stirring until mixture is evenly moist. (If dough seems dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Working gently, bring mixture together with hands until a dough forms.
  6. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 4 to 5 times. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a ½-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cutter, cut 12 scones from dough. Place scones 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle tops with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  7. Bake scones until edges are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.

Games:

Game 1: Who Said It?

For this game I took all the romance quotes I had used on the Valentines and people had to match up the quote with who said it.

Game 2: Who Can Name the Most Romance Movies?

For this game I had everyone turn their sheet of paper over and write down as many romance films they could think of in a minute. This was a ton of fun as afterwards we all talked about which ones we liked and what films were our favorites to watch.

I had a lot of fun with our tea parties, and I hope this helps if you want to plan a Valentea party.

Valentea food also doesn’t count.

For more party posts, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party Music & Party Review

For more Valentine’s Day posts go to, Jane in Love

For more tea posts, go to Spill the Tea: Alley Cat Cafe

For more recipes, go to Dragon Cheddar and Tomato Scones

If Adventures Will Not Befall a Young Lady in Her Own Village, She Must Seek Them Abroad

Happy New Year!

So even though this year is the 210th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice.

I went with a Northanger Abbey quote because I am going abroad to Ireland in the fall!!! I’m so excited!

But even though I am deciding to make this my “Catherine Morland” year (I’m coming for you Mr. Tilney)-I do plan to try and review/post something Pride and Prejudice related every month. Now I know I failed in reviewing Emma (1972)-but I’m really going to try and do my best!

Now on to the year in review!

The Views

This year I had over 56,000 views! That might not seem like a lot to some but I’m thankful for each and every one.

Thank you!

The Top Five Posts

Here are the top five most viewed posts of the year, although again none were posted this year. I guess whatever I post in the actual year is never popular enough? Who knows.

5) I Ran Out of Milk So I Put Buttermilk in My Tea from 2019

This was just a silly post, I’m surprised it was so popular this year.

4) A Real Man from 2014

Why is this post so popular? I don’t know, but once again it’s in my top 5.

3) Which Husband Ran Off With Addie Ross?: A Letter to Three Wives (1949) from Horrorfest VII from 2018

This is a fantastic film and I know it is one of the top viewed as people are always trying to find out which husband ran off with Addie Ross. The answer lies in my review.

2) What Happened to Ally Palmer?: The Good Student (2006) from Horrorfest VII from 2018

When I first saw this film with my friend I was confused. Ever since I have reviewed it, the review has been read by fellow confused viewers.

1) Fulfilling the List: A Walk to Remember (2002) from I Only Want To Be With You: Romance is in the Air from 2013

Ever since I have posted this it has been my number one viewed post. For 10 years nothing has been able to knock it out of first place. I’m extremely surprised.

First of all I celebrated my 10th Blogiversary! I’ve been doing this for 10 years! Can you believe that?!

Jane Austen Posts

It’s the name of the blog, of course there will be posts on Jane Austen or her works!

Pride and Prejudice:

Sense and Sensibility:

Emma:

Northanger Abbey:

Persuasion:

Jane Austen and the Regency Era:

Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans

Have you watched every version of Jane Austen’s works in film and TV and now wonder what to watch next? That’s why I started making a list of films that have components similar to Jane Austen’s works but not an exact retelling or a variation.

Spill the Tea, Tea Reviews

Reviews of tea shops, cafes, & more!

Recipes:

Who doesn’t love having a nice teatime snack to eat while reading or watching Jane Austen?

Crafts:

I’m going to try and share any regency, Jane Austen, or tea related crafts!

Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers:

What do you read after you’ve read all of Jane Austen’s works? That’s why I started making a list of books that have components similar to Jane Austen’s works but are not an exact retelling or a variation.

Giveaway Reviews:

Who doesn’t like free things?

Catherine Morland’s Viewing List

Similar to Catherine Morland’s Reading List, this is a list of gothic films I recommend for the Henry Tilneys and Catherine Morlands out there who are looking for something spooky to watch.

Catherine Morland’s Reading List

Similar to Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers this is a list of gothic books I recommend for the Henry Tilneys and Catherine Morlands who are looking for something spooky to read.

Horrorfest XI

31 reviews of horror films, mysteries, monsters, etc; and of course Northanger Abbey.

Instagram Stuff

On Instagram (@janeaustenrunsmylife) I try to achieve a Bookish Bingo every month. I usually read whatever I like and then see which slot it fills. I write how it fits the categories in my stories and save them for the month and the one after, replacing it with the new month’s selections. It is a lot of fun, and I recommend trying it out.

I also did a countdown to Halloween by reading a chapter of Northanger Abbey everyday, created 31 Days of Hallotean countdown to Halloween, and a countdown to Christmas with my Advent calendar the 25 Teas of Christmas.

July Blogiversary

I celebrated my 10th Blogiversary this year, my niece and I reviewing Austenland. Thank you to all who have been a part these past 10 years. Also on my Instagram I asked a series of questions and posted the results. I asked the following questions this year:

  • If Austen characters could have any food we have today, which one do you think they would go the most crazy over?
  • If the Jane Austen characters were alive today, what jobs would they have?
  • If you could cast any actor/actress in a Jane Austen production, who would it b
  • If you could cast any actor (alive or dead) as Mr. Darcy, who would
  • If you couldn’t marry one of Jane Austen’s Main Characters/love interests, which character would you marry?
  • If you were to make a modern adaption of Jane Austen, which book would you pick and what changes would you make to have it be ‘modern’
  • Jane Austen opinion you will never be talked out of?
  • What are your top 5 Jane Austen adaptions/retellings?
  • What is a Jane Austen themed tradition, oddity, or eccentricity you have/have in your family?
  • What is the best Austen themed product you have purchased or been gifted?
  • What is your favorite Jane Austen book cover?
  • What Pop Culture thing would the Austen characters be into?
  • What’s your favorite costume/outfit from a Jane Austen film.
  • Which Austen parent is the worst?
  • Which character in Austen’s works do you dislike/hate
  • Which Jane Austen character deserves a novel showcasing them?
  • Which is the worst film or TV adaption of Jane Austen’s work

25 Films of Christmas

I like to watch a Christmas film every day in December. Theses are the ones I watched this year.

That’s it for 2022, here’s hoping 2023 will be better!

For 2021 in review, go to I Always Deserve the Best Treatment, Because I Never Put Up With Any Other

For 2020 in review, go to I Will Be Calm. I Will Be Mistress of Myself

For 2019 in review, go to The Mysterious Affair at Jane Austen Runs My Life

For 2018 in review, go to The Future is Bulletproof

For 2017 in review, go to Life Seems But a Quick Succession of Busy Nothings

For 2016 in review, go to A New Hope

For 2015 in review, go to To Boldy Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

For 2014 in review, go to Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

For 2013 in review, go to Looking at the Past, Focusing on the Future

For 2012 in review, go to Looking Back, Moving Forward

Jane Austen Runs My Life Holiday Gift Guide: Jane Austen Books, PART II

I don’t usually write these, but last year I decided to make up a holiday guide of my favorite Jane Austen products. I enjoyed doing that so much that I wanted to make a list on some Jane Austen books that would also make the perfect gift for the holidays.

That was much harder than products as there are so many great books out there.

Just as difficult as choosing 10

So this list will be a Part II, with books that didn’t make it onto last year’s list; along with some books I read this year (and last December). I do not receive any money from promoting these books, I am just honestly sharing ones I have enjoyed and I think you, or your loved ones will also. I have attached links to all the items if any of you are interested in purchasing any of these products (of which I do not receive any money from as I no longer a part of the Amazon affiliate program.)

So enough business, it’s time for Christmas!

This list of books are the perfect gift for Janeites or people you might be trying to convert to becoming a Janiete. The books are all listed in alphabetical order.

What Would Jane Do?: Quips and Wisdom from Jane Austen

This book is a cute addition to any Janeite’s bookshelf as it is a collection of Jane Austen quotes from her letters, books, and Austen films. It’s fun to look through and use when you want the perfect Jane Austen quote for a card, note, etc.

To purchase, click here

Jane Austen Children’s Stories by Jane Austen and adapted by Gemma Barder

I’ve only read two of the seven books in the series, Northanger Abbey and Emma, and have enjoyed them a lot. All are Jane Austen’s classic stories, but written in a way kids 6-10 can easily understand and comprehend. This is the perfect gift for a child of a Janiete or to give to a child in your life that you want to encourage the love of classics and Jane Austen.

I personally have purchased these books for my nieces, cousins, and children of friends. You can buy them in a box set or individually as I have.

To order, click here

A Visit to Highbury:
Another View of Emma

by Joan Austen-Leigh

This is an older book, but I really, really enjoyed this adaptation of Emma. It tells the story from Mrs. Goddard’s, (the woman who owned the home/school that Harriet Smith stayed in), point of view as she writes to her sister. We not only get “another interpretation” of the classic story but we also get to know one of Austen’s older characters on a deeper level. Besides Emma, this novel is also a tale of sister’s love and care for each other, along with the revitalizing love as Mrs. Goddard sister and her husband, the Pinkeys, are brought back together as they discuss the goings on of Emma, Frank Churchill, the Elton’s, etc. I thought it was adorable and had difficulty putting it down.

To order, click here

Pride and Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged) [Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries #1] by Carrie Bebris

I have mixed feelings about this series as I only really enjoyed book one and three, but even though I feel the series has some issues I thought the first one was extremely well written and do recommend it for Austen fans. In this mystery, newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Darcy experience some strange phenomenons when Caroline Bingley marries and starts acting strange, almost possessed. Could Caroline be acting strange for attention? Is someone be tormenting her? Is it regular maleficence…or is there something supernatural going on? Great for fans of Austen and mystery lovers.

To order, click here

An Affectionate Heart by Heather Moll

Are you or the person on your shopping list someone who enjoys books that make you laugh, cry, and feel a whole range of emotions? Then this is the book for you. Both Darcy and Elizabeth are in the depths of despair, agreeing to marry for their own self interests. But as the two spend more time together, they discover that there might be more to this charade than comfort, they might actually be falling in love. However, Elizabeth believes she’s not long our world, should she pursue love? Or continue pretending she doesn’t really care for Darcy? You’ll have to read to find out.

To order, click here

The Dashwoods Tell All by Beth Patillo

There are very few Sense and Sensibility adaptations that I enjoy, and very few Beth Patillo books I like to read; this is one of those rare exceptions. The book begins with two estranged sisters, being forced to take a Jane Austen walking tour in order to honor their mother’s dying wish. They also find themselves becoming owners of a long lost Austen diary, and have to decide what to do with it. The girls encounter grief, love, familial connection, are introduced to Jane Austen, and above all the learn the importance of family.

To order, click here

Pride and Prejudice Paper Dolls by Brenda Sneathen Mattox

A different gift than a usual book, this book of paper dolls is perfect for any fan of Jane Austen. Adults and children can enjoy looking at the clothes and illustrations; along with it bringing back the fun memories of having paper dolls. You can gift it as something to add to a Janiete’s collection; or to someone who might want to use them to relive their childhood memories, or create memories with their children. Either way it is a fun gift to put under the tree for paper doll fans of all ages.

To purchase, click here

A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice
by Jasmine Stirling

I know there are quite a few Jane Austen children’s books on this list and it’s because I’m always trying to brainwash influence my nieces into loving Jane Austen as much as I do. This cute Jane Austen picture book has beautiful illustrations and gives a full biographical view of Jane Austen’s life in a way that kids can easily understand. Perfect for the child (6-10) in your life.

To purchase, click here

Jane Austen (Little People. BIG DREAMS) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Another cute Jane Austen bigography that is geared toward kids 4-7 and available in English or Spanish. The book has a great balance of pictures to text and I really like how it highlights all the heroines of Austen’s novels. Both I and my niece loved it.

To purchase, click here

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!

Sense and Sensibility Adaption Reviews

Pride and Prejudice Adaption Reviews: Part I

Pride and Prejudice Adaption Reviews: Part II

Pride and Prejudice Adaption Reviews: Part III

Mansfield Park Adaption Reviews

Emma Adaption Reviews

Northanger Abbey Adaption Reviews

Persuasion Adaption Reviews

Halloween Has Ended…But It’s Not Over

Like my okay on Halloween Ends? I don’t care what they say, I know they will make more. When there is money to be made there will always be another sequel or remake.

But enough of that. Here ends another Horrorfest: 31 reviews of films and/or TV episodes that are mysteries, horror, film-noir, suspense, monster movies, thrillers, psycho killers, ghosts, vampires, zombies, mummies, etc.

I only started doing this because I already would watch something for Halloween every day in October (and annoy my friends by doing so); and it was a real easy leap to blog about it. I know some people don’t think I should as it has “nothing” to do with Jane Austen. That may be true, but I do know one character who would enjoy Halloween and Horror films.

I also did my third annual Celebrate Halloween with Northanger Abbey. And added something new, reading a chapter of Northanger Abbey every day, it’s a perfect countdown to Halloween as it has 31 chapters

And of course our Annual items

  • A movie or TV episode from every decade from the 1930s-2020s
  • Jane Austen with Pup Fiction (1997)
  • Alfred Hitchcock with Marnie (1964)
  • Animated Film/TV Episode with Over the Garden Wall (2014) & Coco (2017)
  • Disney with Coco (2017)
  • Stephen King with Firestarter (2022)
  • Tim Burton with Beetlejuice (1988)
  • Vincent Price with The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

This year I reviewed the following:

The Thin Man (1934)

After the Thin Man (1936)

Another Thin Man (1939)

Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

Lady in the Lake (1946)

The Thing From Another World (1951)

Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

“It’s A Good Life from The Twilight Zone (1961)

Marnie (1964)

Love at First Bite (1979)

Halloween II (1981)

Beetlejuice (1988)

Frankenstein (1994)

Leprechaun 2 (1994)

Batman Forever (1995)

“X Marks the Murder:Part I” from Diagnosis Murder (1996)

“X Marks the Murder: Part II” from Diagnosis Murder (1996)

“Pup Fiction” from Wishbone (1997)

The Mummy (1999)

The Mummy Returns (2001)

“Hard Times at the Huskin’ Bee” from Over the Garden Wall (2014)

Train to Busan (2016)

Coco (2017)

Psych the Movie (2017)

Concealer (2019)

Flower of Evil (2020)

Psych 2: Lassie Come Home (2020)

Psych 3: This is Gus (2021)

Firestarter (2022)