So I was just going about my usual business when my google alert for Jane Austen shared with me that Peacock is starting a new dating show.
Now I’m not one to watch dating reality shows as they are all pretty boring to me and seem to be the same premise. I have a friend who is obsessed with The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, but those shows were never for me.
I will admit to liking Farmer Takes a Wife, though. I liked that the ladies had to do challenges as it was hilarious to see the ones who were clearly only doing it to be on TV try and attempt these actual farm challenges only to fail, and fail in spectacular fashion.
But this one was supposed to be Jane Austen/Bridgerton Regency themed and I become super excited about it as it sounded just like out of the book Definitely Not Mr. Darcy.
You can read my full review by clicking on this link, but in short, Chloe thinks she is entering a contest/documentary about Jane Austen fans but ends up finding herself on a dating show. It is 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 contestants 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. Of course the path to true life never runs smooth (especially on TV) and hilarity ensues.
For years I have been saying a network should jump on this idea and have tweeted it multiple times to different ones. So when I saw this I knew I had to enter. Whether or not I get on it doesn’t matter, at least I tried.
So this show is going to take a heroine to England, to compete for several weeks in a castle. “If selected, we will transport our heroine and suitors to an international location where they will get to experience what dreams are made of and be fully immersed in a time-traveling quest for love…Those selected will engage in period-era pastimes like carriages rides, archery and sending hand-written letters.”
Like I literally love all those things! I used to do archery and was pretty good at it (I don’t know if I still am as it has been years). I also send out handwritten letters every week. Everything about the “challenges” sounds fun.
So it asked a lot of questions, a looooot of questions. It was actually pretty uncomfortable how much information you had to give out. Name, birthday, occupation, height, weight, gender identity, who you like to see, etc. I answered them all truthfully but was a little flippant about the height. I told them I was 5’3, close to Regency women’s average height.
They also ask for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and tiktok links. I gave both my personal and the ones for my blog. I’m hoping that since the title is Jane Austen Runs My Life, it might make me a stronger contender.
There are questions on marital status, whether or not you have children, dating history, where do you look for dates.
I was like I haven’t been looking as I honestly haven’t since I’ve been divorced. (Plus you hear such horrible things about dating sites, although I do have an idea for a future post…I’ll have to keep ruminating on it.)
I like that they ask your top three things when looking for someone and what your deal breakers are. I know the show is mostly for entertainment, as all dating shows are, but I did like that they put that out there. It does feel as if someone is trying to care.
My top three things were honesty, trust, and fidelity. My top three dealbreakers were lying, any type of manipulation/abuse, and distrust.
They also asked why you were single which I feel like most people aren’t going to have a reason for it. I know I haven’t looked since ny divorce was finalized. That’s what I wrote but I really wanted to say this line from Austenland, and I am kicking myself that I didn’t as it is a great line.
Another question on the form is why you are a good catch and I was thinking, guys I’m Darcy’s Dream Date. (But that’s not what I said, instead I gave a real answer).
They also asked how you are like in a committed relationship and i wrote that I’m kind and caring but still independent and not clingy.
One of the questions was on whether modern dating frustrates you and your thoughts on chivalry. I think for me, my views on Modern dating are very similar to Mr. Nobley in Austenland.
Chivalry is very important to me after being through an abusive relationship. I really would like someone who is kind and caring and the idea of a code of honor in how one treats a women does greatly appeal to me.
They also ask if you like big romantic gestures and I was like I love the idea of a man coming after me on a white horse and willing to risk his inheritance for me:
Or a man who writes me love letters:
Or saves my family from ruin by protecting my sister’s reputation…just kidding about that last one.
For hobbies I shared I liked reading, writing/blogging, and creating my own cards and sealing them with wax!
They also asked about something that would surprise them and I shared that I am biracial. I figured this will be a good “surprise” as I know I don’t look like what people imagine someone who is Mexican looks like. To be honest, I really didn’t know what to put her.
And then it asked what your greatest accomplishment is. My greatest one was probably my thesis project which was on a subject that there wasn’t a lot of info on and I had to spend hours working on it. It even won an award. It’s boring, but I’m very proud of it.
You also have to include pictures. One has to be of your face while the other a full length picture. I knew I had the perfect ones!
This one I used for face. I totally forgot I had this but found it the other day when I was cleaning through my phone.
And of course for full-length:
I then had to do a 20 second video introducing myself which was the hardest one to do. 20 seconds isn’t that long, and what do you even say?
If you are interested in trying out for it, click on this link. And if they do pick you, keep us updated on to what it is like!
Day 1) A is for Apocalyptical: Choose a book with an apocalyptic theme
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 is one of my absolute favorite books. I first was introduced to it at the age of 10, when I came across my parents watching the German film. I didn’t quite understand it, so my mom gave me the book to read. Since then I read it at least once a year.
Or 10th, 50th, 100th….
Every time I read this book it shocks me with how accurate it is in portraying the culture of today. I was amazed at that age, but this most recent time when I read the book, it really struck me with exactly how spot on it is.
The book was published in 1953, and is set in a Dystopian future. No year is given, although it is done after 1960. In this future reading is outlawed
Books are an illegal substance,
and the firemen’s job is to burn the offensive material.
I don’t know about you all, but a world without books sounds like a catastrophic end of the world to me. After all:
Guy Montag has always lived life the way culture dictates; has a good paying job, married, no kids as they are bothersome and their are already too many, multiple wall screens to stream TV, etc.
But then one night everything changes. He meets the daughter of his new next door neighbor, Clarisse, who doesn’t like firemen.
“And you must be-…the fireman.’ Her voice trailed off.
‘How oddly you say that.’
‘I’d- I’d have known it with my eyes shut,’ she said, slowly.
‘What- the smell of kerosene? My wife always complains,’ he laughed. ‘You never wash it off completely.’
‘No you don’t,’ she said, in awe.” [pg. 4]
She starts talking about all kinds of things, like how firemen at one time didn’t burn things but helped stop fires. She even questions whether he ever reads the books he burns.
Clarisse is completely counter to the culture of the day and a throwback to the past.
For instance, she doesn’t like this obsession with everything has to be in a hurry, driving all is blur with no one taking the time to look, examine, or have have patience. In fact her uncle was jailed for driving 40 mi/hrs, as it was far too “slow”.
Clarisse also likes to go out for walks and and look at the sky, stars, or moon. Something else everyone finds as weird or odd.
This reminds me so much of our culture today. Everything needs to be instant-instant news, fast food, all TV shows, etc. No patience, no waiting. My niece and I were watching a show on Netflix, and she asked me why they would have these moments where they pause, go to black, and then do a review of what we already seen. I actually had to explain that they used to show these episodes on TV, and there would be commercials in-between. Because you might get people who just tuned in and didn’t see the beginning, and were unable to see the beginning (unless they purchased it on VHS or DVD, they would repeat it for them. And then I had to explain that streaming is something new, prior to it you had to wait a week for the next episode; and when the season ended you had to wait 6 months to a year for the next season.
Now here is a child who has grown up on the world of streaming and the internet and never, ever experienced having to wait for something.
Just like in this.
Anyways, when Montag returns home he finds his wife, Mildred, almost dead, having sucked down a lot of pills. He calls the hospital and they don’t even bother sending an ambulance. So many people these days are trying to kill themselves and end their life with pills, they have a machine like a black snake to pump the stomach.
The next day, Mildred doesn’t remember anything about what happened that night, and all she cares about is her “family” a TV show she follows.
There are all kinds of people suffering in the world or “real issues” that need to be talked about, but are all glossed over by entertainment. All people care about is the TV screens, wanting this giant Wall to Wall circuit. And the shows they watch have no real themes or content to them. Just mindless chatter.
When I reread this, it made me think of the reality shows we have that are just the same thing again and again, no real changes or real content. Keeping Up with the Kardashians for example. Or the endless dating shows looking for love like Flav O Flav, My Fair Brady, etc. Or The X Factor, The Voice, American Idol, etc, And people care more about these shows then real things.
We are strange people.
Then Montag runs into Clarisse. She talks to him, really talks just about anything and everything. Because she isn’t “normal” they force her to o to a psychiatrist.
“They want to know what I do with all my time. I tell them that sometimes I just sit and think.” [pg. 20]
In fact that is something she and her family like to do, just sit around and talk no devices, go out and walk just talking. In this world conversation is dead, no one really talks anymore. Sound familiar?
She glanced quickly over. ‘Why are you laughing?’
‘I don’t know.’ He started to laugh again and stopped. ‘Why?’
‘You laugh when I haven’t been funny and you answer right off. You never stop to think what I’ve asked you.” [pg. 6]
It gets him thinking, and thinking is dangerous in a dystopian world.
“He felt his body divide itself into a hotness and a coldness, a softness and a hardness, a trembling and a not trembling, the two halves grinding upon the other.” [pg. 21]
Clarrise is a great character because she represents a type of person that is fading out. The one who is still holding on to the values of the past. A type of person who wants to think for herself instead of being spoonfeed an idea from the Internet, government, or teachers.
“I’m antisocial, they say. I don’t mix. It’s so strange. I’m very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn’t it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this…But I don’t think it is social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you?…We never ask questions…they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing…It’s a lot of funnels and a lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us it’s wine when it’s not.” [pg. 27]
The other thing I love about Clarrise os that she is so easily relatable, at least to me she is. She is disconnected to her generation because she doesn’t have the same values as they do she is more old fashioned, and because of that she is an 80 year old in a 17 year old’s body. I know exactly how that feels. I love reading, creating things by hand, having things until they wear out, not getting the newest stuff. That’s how I been my whole life which makes it hard to find others who value the same thing. I mean I read Emily Post.
“You sound so old.’
‘Sometimes I’m ancient.” [pg. 27]
Clarrise hates this world of blandness and nothingness.
“People don’t talk about anything.’
‘Oh, they must!’
‘No, not anything. They name a lot of cars or clothes or swimming pools mostly and say how swell! But they all say the same things and nobody says anything different from anyone else.” [pg. 28]
Clarisse opens Montag’s mind up to the way the world is and how it should be, and before he knows it, she and her whole family are gone.
You question in a dystopian world and you are gone.
He asks Captain Beatty if it is true that fireman used to stop fires instead of creating them.
The rest if the firemen are uneasy, but Captain Beatty knows it is natural for at one pint a fireman to question things. He shows him the history of the firemen and when they were first established.
“Established, 1790, to burn English-influenced books in the Colonies. First Fireman: Benjamin Franklin.
Answer the alarm quickly.
Start the fire swiftly.
Report back to the firehouse immediately.
Stand alert for other Alarms.
Before anything else can be done, an alarm sounds and the group heads out. They reach the place and apprehend a women, demanding to know where her contraband is. She won’t tell them but quotes Hugh Latimer.
“Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”
The fireman don’t understand this, but Hugh Latimer was executed for his protestantism, under the ruling of catholic Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth’s older sister. He was burned alive for his beliefs, which is foreshadowing as to what is to come.
They find the books and are going to burn them like they always do, except this night is different. This woman, Mrs. Blake, stands their silently judging them.
Montag begins burning everything, but instead of just being things, they feel more alive, like killing animals.
They burn everything, ready to decimate the building, but Mrs. Blake won’t leave. She refuses to give up her books. The fireman leave, ready to let her die; but Montag tries to help her. She refuses as she holds in her hand a match.
Willing to die for her beliefs.
I think that is why I love this book so much, the fact that it truly explains a connection people have not just to the book but to the author’s thoughts and ideas. Destroying a book is more than destroying a physical object, it is trying to kill the person who created it.
“It’s not just the woman that died…Last night I thought about all that kerosene I’ve used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I’d never even thought that thought before…It took some man a lifetime maybe to put some of his thoughts down, looking around at the world and life and then I come along in two minutes and boom! it’s all over.” [pg. 49]
Montag returns home after the horror with a secret:
“His hands had been infected, and soon it would be his arms. He could feel the poison working up his wrists and into the elbows and his shoulders, and then the jump-over from shoulder blade to shoulder blade like a spark leaping a gap. His hands were ravenous. And his eyes were beginning to feel hunger, as if they must look at something, anything, everything…He balanced in space with the book in his sweating cold fingers.” [pg. 38]
Montag realizes how empty his life is, he married his wife ten years ago, but can’t fathom why. He doesn’t love her and she doesn’t love him. They don’t talk, they spend no time together, and all she does is watch TV or listen to her device with her little seashell headphones that go in her ears practically disappearing from view. Both people are empty, full of nothingness. There is countless walls between them through the TV shows she watches and she is more connected to those fake creations on the screen than her own husband.
All Mildred does is watch TV, yet even that is so empty that you if ask questions what is it even about Mildred doesn’t know. Mildred doesn’t know anything. It’s like she is on drugs, the way her memory and mind is so foggy.
She is like a zombie.
The next day Montag is sick, not physically but mentally, and philosophically. The death of the woman has troubled him dearly and he can’t understand it.
“You weren’t there, you didn’t see,’ he said. There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.” [pg. 48]
Mildred doesn’t understand it and think that Montag is crazy for taking the death of a stupid radical this way. He should focus on work, on making more money, so they can get more things and TVs and such.
“Let me alone,’ said Mildred. ‘I didn’t do anything.’
‘Let you alone! That’s all very well, but how can I leave myself alone? We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long has it been since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?” [pg. 49]
Then Beatty shows up as Montag has been missing from work. He figured it out that Montag has been questioning the world they live in. So he gives them the spiel he gives out to bring those on the edge back to reality.
“Once, books appealed to a few people, here, there, everywhere. They could afford to be different. The world was roomy. But then the world got full of eyes and elbows and mouths…Films and radios, magazines, books leveled down to a sort of paste pudding norm…in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests. Tabloids…Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve line dictionary resume…
Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom!…Whirl a man’s mind around so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters, that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought.
…philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?” [pgs 51-53]
Life today. Now this part here really gets me with how PC you have to be 24/7, the littlest infraction and you are out.
“Now let’s take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don’t step on the toes of the dog-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico…The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean.
Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca…But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive, And the dimensional sex magazines of course.
There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick…Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time…
With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual’, of course became the swear word it deserved to be…
We must all be alike. Not everyone was born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man in the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, judge themselves against…”
Horrifying, yet that is the world we live in. You don’ like it, they destroy it; and that is happening now. A book about George Washington’s slave, who liked him because she saved his life from an assassination plot, making him a birthday cake was pulled because it isn’t p.c. Uncle Tom’s Cabin? No longer read because it is portrays African Americans in a bed light when it didn’t, Uncle Tom was an extremely powerful character. People don’t even read the book, but destroy it because it might hurt someone’s feelings.
Captain Beatty lets them know they got rid of the girl as she was too crazy and out there.
Life’s better bland, nothing to worry about, pleasant life, no problems, no nothing.
He tells Montag it is okay to check out a book, just one, as there is nothing in there. He’ll read it and burn it afterward.
After Beatty left, Montag is furious, but instead of taking something to make him happy, he has 20 books hidden in the house. He has decided to read them, sharing them with Mildred.
Montag goes to see Professor Faber, a man he ran into before. Faber used to work at a liberal arts college, but they closed it down as it was no longer important. He wants to know how to understand the books, to learn and Faber is the only one he has left.
Faber tells him we need three things in life:
“Number one: Do you know why books such as these are so important? Because they have quality…This book has pores…You’d find life under the glass, streaming past infinite profusion…The good writers touch life often.” [pg. 79]
And the second? Leisure. Now Montag brings up that we have plenty of leisure, but he means actual time set aside to read, not bombarded with all types of things.
“You can’t argue with a four-wall televisor. Why? The televisor is ‘real.’ It is immediate, it has dimension. It tells you what to think and blasts it in. It must be right. It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn’t time to protest, ‘What nonsense!’
‘…You can shut [books], say ‘Hold on a moment.’ You play God to it. But who has ever torn himself away from the claw that encloses you when you drop a seed in a TV parlor? It grows you any shape it wishes! It is an environment as real as the world. It becomes and is the truth. Books can be beaten down with reason. But with all my knowledge and skepticism, I have never been able to argue with a one-hundred-piece-symphony orchestra, full color, three dimensions…” [pg. 80]
And thirdly the ability to carry out the actions learned from it.
Montag thinks they can change the world by planting books on all the firemen, to bring them down. But Faber knows it won’t help, it isn’t the fireman that created this rule but the public who wanted people to stop reading.
That’s right, we did when we stopped reading.
Montag is afraid to go out as Beatty might mix him up again. Faber gives him these devices so he can put it in his ear so that he can hear Faber. That night he goes home and sees that Mildred is having a party.
Montag is horrified by these women. One just marries, divorces, marries, divorces, no emotions whatsoever. The other has kids who are in school constantly, and never sees them as she doesn’t care. They discuss politics. voting for people based on how they look and their names, rather than what they actually say or want to do.
Montag reads to them but they don’t understand. They’ve been too distorted with TV and the culture with no substance.
Captain Beatty knows that Montag has been reading and plays with him, using the books he clings to to rebut his arguments. They leave as they have a call, and it turns out that it is Montag’s house
Mildred put in the alarm and she is heartbroken. But what saddens her the most? Losing her TV family
Yes, not her husband, home, etc.
Montag is forced to destroy his own home, and afterwards destroys the firemen. After all, his whole life he has been taught, you have a problem, burn it.
He has now become a fugitive and runs. Not knowing where, but just continuing to run.
After running, he plants the books in other firemen’s houses. Montag stops to see Faber, finds out the Hound (the firemen’s robotic assassin) is after them, and continues to take off. Never knowing where he is to go next, but running.
He runs into the country until the end of the all known. He stops when he reaches an area with men siting near a campfire and TV set. They give him a potion to change his perspiration, but it is’t really necessary. The Hound needs to find someone, as after all this is TV, the people need the answer.
They find some poor sop who looks like Montag and kill him to save face.
These men are former professors , intellectuals, etc; who have been running from the law. Each one has taken in a new life, the life of a book. These books are locked away in an area they can never be taken from. The mind.
Eventually the hope is to one day reenter society and bring the books they have been passing orally to the world.
“Do you really think they will listen then?’
‘If not then we’ll just have to wait…you can’t make people listen. They have to come around in their own time…” [pg. 146]
And what book does Montag choose to be? Ecclesiastes.
Besides this fantastic story, we have the amazing language and the great way it was written. Take the beginning:
“It was a pleasure to burn.
It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmut numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies. He wanted above all, like the old joke to shove a marshmallow on a stick in the furnace, while the flapping pigeon-winged books died on the porch lawn of the house. While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning.” [pgs. 1-2]
This book is only 158 pages, barely any pages, but there is so much power is in that. Amazing amounts of power. I just love this book.
Turn your TV, computer, cell phone, and any other device you have off for a while and pick up a book instead.
So last year I posted a Christmas Carol every day in December and I really enjoyed it. I had so much fun picking out the songs, I decided to bring it back.
So with everything going on in the world, and the way people have been acting: I think we need a little Christmas in our lives. So I choose that song.
We Need a Little Christmas is from the musical Mame based on the novel Aunt Mame. In the story Mame gains guardianship of her nephew and starts to raise him. At this point in the musical, Mame has lost everything in the stock market crash of 1929. With everything practically gone, she decides to have Christmas early as she doesn’t know what will happen.
Of course that isn’t the end of the play as Mame has many more interesting antics. However, this song is great and just the right thing to put us in the mood.
This version is sung by Angela Lansbury, from the first musical cast of Aunt Mame.
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:
Anyways, so she enters a contest to compete in a documentary about Janeites. Each contestant will live in a Regency-esque world where they will compete in answering Austen Trivia, the winner receiving $100,000. Chloe really needs the money as her old-fashioned letterpress business 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.
When Chloe arrives on the set she finds out that the show isn’t a documentary about Janeites, but is in reality a dating show, a sort of Bachelor-esque one.
Chloe is in shock and utter disbelief. She decides that she is through with it as a 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 as 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 contestants 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 Janeite experience with a hot guy and a chance at a ton of money?
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.
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 American 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)
While even though being unconscious and thinking she’d been shot (when her carriage really had 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, spectacle wearing, kind looking man rather than the tall, dark, and brooding Darcy-esque man that she was expecting) she is happy to have made his acquaintance.
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: 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!
She also finds out that all the other girls in the house have been there for three weeks already and she was chosen 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 some things I cannot live without and I don’t know if I could go weeks without them: I NEED my indoor plumbing. I also couldn’t do a bath only on Sundays. And I’m half-Mexican, I need spice in my food! I can’t live on bland.
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 completely 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 embarrassed that he caught her she is rude to him. He warns her that she is on Darthworth property which is 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:
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 suffers 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.
Let’s check out the competition.
When dressing for dinner, Chloe asks Fiona, her maid, who the tall, dark, stranger might have been with Fiona responding 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 inheritance (Very Mr. Tilney indeed). Chloe is horrified that she might have just lost her chance at Mr. Wrightman since she yelled and was rude to him. Uber 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 only a little about Jane 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)
Chloe thoroughly enjoys Regency dances, but Grace tries to throw a wrench in her plan to learn, 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, with 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.
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, Abigail. Apparently Chloe’s ex, Winthrop, has met somebody, and is getting married, and wants to change the custody arrangement. 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?
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 women had to be separated while they had their cycle. 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. 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 diner at Dartworth Hall the next day too.
Later that day Chloe is out gathering ingredients to make ink, Sebastian comes bounding by on a white horse. A man on a white horse?
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 Henry 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 forthright, 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, painting papers, and a pink cabbage rose. Chloe is just drowning in her crush.
She 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.
Hmmm…I think you need to watch her.
That night is the ball and when the girls get there Chloe immediately checks out the library. Same here, as I I love libraries, 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 ceremony (much like the rose ceremony in the Bachelor 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.
Ugh, hate her.
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.
Okay everybody, Henry is perfect. After all, he has clearly read Jane Austen.
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 her.
Sebastian makes plans to have a faux fox hunt for the girls. Everyone is exclaiming over it when Mrs. Crescent screams out that
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 with falcons. The two share some tender moments, but it is ruined ended when 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 opportunity of watching her audition video, check her facebook, twitter, and research her through the internet. He tells her they have a lot in common and he also takes a lock of her hair. Taking someone’s lock of hair meant you were very interested in them and were planning on 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.
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 Chloe faint again.
Henry wakes her up and kisses her.
Yes, like in Sleeping Beauty
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 surprise 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 chosen to host 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.
Chloe 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 to 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.
This Shakespearean twist isn’t completely crazy. There is no way Chloe could send him a letter, note, or talk to him privately 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 the dog takes off into the maze and Chloe follows, and then it begins to pour (hey it’s England). Instead of turning back she takes off after him to save him, with Henry also going. Fifi gets in a fight with a weasel 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.
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.
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.
She has to return home, quite sad that she couldn’t stay longer at the event 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 room. It’s just not her day.
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 enjoy 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 questions whether Chloe is throwing away her opportunity 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.
The next day Chloe gets a present from Mr. Wrightman. It’s a cat!
Why isn’t this guy real?
Ah, he’s perfect! He got her a mouser. Now Chloe thinks that Henry told Sebastian, and Sebastian sent it but it is obvious that Henry sent it. I mean the guy is totally in love with her. And I feel that he is a much better guy than Sebastian as he is real. Sebastian is too oily, and too perfect.
I’m all about that Henry!
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 is going well until Grace steps on her foot and causes her to miss, sending the arrow right at Henry. Grace faints 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.
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 gives him a drop of laudanum. After taking it, Sebastian really cuts loose. He starts saying all kinds of things and starts trying to get all over her. Charlotte ends up decking him as he as he tries to pull her dress off, with Henry arriving just 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.
So Chloe still wants to win, she needs the money, and is set on trying to prove that Grace is doing all kinds of illegal activities. She finds all kinds of things to support that and even gets caught by Grace as Grace is trying to get down with a footman.
Chloe goes 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 and 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.
They 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 chaperones Chloe, 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.
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
I love it!
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 Darcy reference, but one that Sebastian does not get. To cause further frowns 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!!!!!
She tries to run back to the party and totally messes up her outfit and runs into Henry. He tries to console her and she enjoys it, but then that she recognizes she is in the icehouse. When she tries to get rid of Henry as Sebastian is coming, Henry is disappointed (even worse than angry) and takes off.
NO!! I want them to get back together.
When she meets up with Sebastian she realizes that 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-I would too-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. And this dude clearly doesn’t take no for an answer.
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.
He’s nothing but a Wickham, Elliot, Willoughby, and Crawford.
The then 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 announced that she loves.
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 Dartworth Hall, but Henry is.
Henry comes after her on a white horse. A WHITE HORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Henry takes her out and explains 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,
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 his “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 refuses the money and goes home.
So Chloe goes home. All she keeps is the cat.
I would have kept the money and Henry. Chloe is crazy.
So Chloe is back in the states. She has given up in trying to find a fairy tale guy and she instead dates regular guys. The only Austen thing she does is watch the show she was on, Dating Mr. Darcy.
In the last episode she sees 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 Afghanistan (the guy she was porking about behind his back). Mrs. Crescent’s son had a successful 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.
The book ends with Chloe emailing Henry. Hoping to start a new beginning.
So both guys were definitely not Mr. Darcy, but Henry turned out to be one great guy.