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Showing posts from January, 2008

Brighton entertainments

The social round of events at Brighton was a major attraction for visitors. As an important pleasure resort Brighton boasted two sets of Assembly Rooms, which were based at the Castle Inn and the Old Ship Inn. Balls were held on Mondays and Thursdays respectively, card assemblies on Wednesdays and Fridays, a Promenade and Public tea on Sundays. The ballrooms were designed in Adam style, the Castle being considered the more elegant with its plaster mouldings, classical columns and friezes of Dawn and Night.
Captain Wade officiated for some time as master of ceremonies. Bath was mainly a winter resort and Brighton a summer one, so he was able to preside over both until he made himself unpopular at Bath. Apparently, he openly ridiculed an admirer’s love letters and as a result became unpopular, leaving Bath for good in 1770 to make his home in Brighton.
The circulating libraries provided entertainment in the day time. Not only could books be borrowed or bought, but trinkets, music, sketchi…

Pride and Prejudice

Cassandra and Jane Austen
Jane Austen wrote and revised Pride and Prejudice over a period of sixteen or seventeen years. Known as First Impressions, she began working on the manuscript at Steventon in 1796 but her father's attempt to have the book published in 1797 was unsuccessful. It was only when she was happily settled at Chawton that she revised the book and following the success of Sense and Sensibility, offered it to the publisher Thomas Egerton. Pride and Prejudice was published on 28th January 1813. Jane wrote to Cassandra the next day.

I want to tell you that I have got my own darling Child from London; - on Wednesday I received one copy.... I must confess that I think her (Elizabeth Bennet) as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print, and how I shall tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know.

Jane Austen received some favourable notices in journals but particularly delighted in collecting comments from friends and family. She was pleased to have Cas…

Hertford - a possible setting for Meryton

Jane Austen set her wonderful novel, Pride and Prejudice, in Hertfordshire. The fictional town of Meryton, which is about a mile from Longbourn where the Bennets live, is likely to have been based on the real town of Hertford, according to Deirdre Le Faye. I am very lucky to live on the edge of London and yet am close to the countryside, in the market town of High Barnet in Hertfordshire. Hertford is a market town also and having been on shopping visits and research trips to the museum, I found it easy to picture the Bennet sisters wandering around the shops. It was very inspiring for imagining where the girls might have shopped and where Lydia might have visited her friend, Harriet Forster, the colonel's wife.
Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice between October 1796 and August 1797. Deirdre Le Faye mentions the fact that the Derbyshire Militia came to Hertfordshire in the winter of 1794-5 and that the troops were stationed in Hertford and Ware. We do not know whether Jane visite…

Competition Result

Congratulations to Karen D who has won a copy of Lydia Bennet's Story and a pack of gift cards.

Thank you to everyone who entered! I enjoyed reading your comments. Most of the entrants got the answers right, so names were put into a hat and my daughter drew the competition winner. Jane Odiwe

Here is the correct answer in the right sequence:
Chasing officers, Dancing, Going to Meryton, Trimming a bonnet, Mending Mr Bennet's shirts

Review for Lydia Bennet's Story from Laura Boyle, The Jane Austen Centre web site

An Excellent Read! I finished it in two sittings!
19 Jan 2008 By Laura Boyle "Austentation" (Massachusetts, USA)

Presented as a novel interspersed with diary entries, Part one of Lydia's story retells the now familiar events of Pride and Prejudice through a new heroine's eyes, adding details which help explain some of her actions, shedding light on the motive behind others. As readers, we are wont to think of Lydia only as one of "the silliest girls in the country." Ms. Odiwe undertakes to teach us better.

A young teenager in love cannot be anything but thoughtless, but it does not stand that once the first bloom of romance has passed that she may not turn her mind towards the improvement of herself and her situation. It is not impossible to learn from one's mistakes. The moral of Pride and Prejudice is that first impressions are not the stuff of lasting relationships. Personalities can improve or disappoint on further acquaintance- from knowing one bet…

Competition: Win a copy of Lydia Bennet's Story

To celebrate the publication of Lydia Bennet's Story, Lydia has a copy of her novel and a set of seven Effusions of Fancy greetings cards for anyone who can put her favourite interests and pursuits in the correct order, beginning with her best-loved preference.
There are five to put in the right sequence:

Trimming a bonnet

Dancing

Going to Meryton

Mending Mr Bennet's shirts

Chasing Officers

The competition is open for a week until 20 th January. Please send answers (don't forget to include your name) in order of Lydia's preference to the following e-mail address: effusions at btinternet dot com (say it out loud). The winner will be announced on Monday, 21st January.

Lydia Bennet's Story - First extracts from Lydia's Journal

Lydia Bennet's Story begins with some of Lydia's thoughts from her journal - the following precedes Chapter One. Lydia's journal appears at intervals throughout the book; I had a lot of fun getting inside Lydia's head and 'seeing' her version of the events that take place. I hope you enjoy what follows - Jane Odiwe.

Tuesday, April 13th

I have quite worn out my silk dancing slippers at the Assembly Ball tonight by standing up with several very handsome officers for every country jig and figure. Indeed, on entering the Rooms I had barely cast my eye about before I was applied to by a string of gentlemen, though sadly, they were not all officers. I must say there is something about a soldier, which makes an excellent partner - I am quite giddy in their company!

I wore my tamboured muslin, which becomes me extraordinarily well and received so many compliments I was quite the belle of the ball. So smitten by my saucy looks were the officers of the Derbyshire militia,…