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Showing posts from May, 2008

Cassandra Austen

Jane Austen's sister Cassandra was Jane's lifelong companion. I think the following letter gives us an idea of the strength of the affection and love that the sisters shared and of Cassandra's grief when Jane tragically died at the very early age of 41. Cassandra wrote to her niece Fanny Knight from Winchester where the Austen sisters had been seeking medical help for Jane's illness. If you can read this letter with a dry eye you are of a stronger constitution than I am!

The silhouette is thought to be of a young Cassandra.

July 18th 1817 Winchester
MY DEAREST FANNY,

Doubly dear to me now for her dear sake whom we have lost. She did love you most sincerely, and never shall I forget the proofs of love you gave her during her illness in writing those kind, amusing letters at a time when I know your feelings would have dictated so different a style. Take the only reward I can give you in the assurance that your benevolent purpose was answered; you did contribute to her enj…

Becoming Jane blog quiz

Over at Becoming Jane Blogspotthey have a quiz to celebrate a whole year of blogging! Details from their blog and how to win a dvd of Becoming Jane below:

Happy Anniversary for Becoming Jane Fansite and all of us! One year young, and lots of things to do to explore the chaste love and camaraderie between Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy!

And we’ve decided to extend the deadline of BJ Anniversary Quiz to 31 May 2008, to give more people chance to participate in our becoming. That’s it: Saturday, 31 May 2008 at 24:00 GMT (the midnight between Saturday and Sunday). It is equivalent to Saturday, 31 May 2008 at 8pm for New York, USA. It is also equivalent to Sunday, 1 June 2008 GMT+1 for UK, GMT+8 for central Indonesia time, GMT+10 for Sydney Australia, and GMT+12 for New Zealand.

How to join? Just answer the two questions down here and send the answers to Icha (tara_parvati@yahoo.com) AND Rachel (rachkingston@aol.com). DON’T reply to the comment section, unless you want your answers copied by othe…

Walking on the Steyne at Brighton in Jane Austen's day

I found this extract from a satirical poem which paints such wonderful pictures in the mind of Brighton in the late 1790's. It's taken from 'A Moral Epistle from the Pavilion at Brighton to Carlton House' by Anthony Pasquin.

'Tis the rage but to walk on the Steyne in the eve,
When the dew falls as rapid as sand through a sieve;
Till their clothes hang dependent absorbing a damp,
More fatal than steams from an African swamp:
When the blast's south or east the spray rides in the gale,
Till you're crusted with salt like Dutch herrings for sale;
And when north or east, the impertinent wind
Incessantly cuts, like a razor behind:
If the nerves are too fine, the pedestrian decays;
If not he's lumbago'd the rest of his days.

If you've ever walked near the seafront in Brighton you will know how true this rhyme is to this day!

Elizabeth Bennet's courage

I love the way that Jane Austen exposes Darcy's character in the following extract and reveals Elizabeth Bennet's playful sense of humour and her indomitable spirit. The scene takes place at Rosings, the home of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. This snobbish woman ignores Elizabeth who is not made to feel welcome in the least. Lady Catherine spends the whole time talking to her nephews, Mr Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam. However, the latter manages to engage Elizabeth in conversation and persuades her to play the piano. As she starts to perform Elizabeth sees Mr Darcy approach.

"You mean to frighten me, Mr. Darcy, by coming in all this state to hear me? But I will not be alarmed though your sister does play so well. There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me."

"I shall not say that you are mistaken," he replied, "because you could not really believe …

A New Cover for Lydia Bennet's Story

This is the new cover for Lydia Bennet's Story which is being published in October by Sourcebooks. I am absolutely thrilled with it; I think the designers have done a wonderful job. The illustration is by Brock and shows Lydia and Kitty being introduced to Mr Wickham.

The following extract is from Lydia's journal when Lydia learns that her favourites are about to leave for Brighton.

Saturday, May 8th

My world as I know it has ended! I have received such dreadful news today that I do not think I shall ever recover! I met with Mr Wickham (who looked as handsome as ever in his scarlet coat) in the High Street in Meryton this morning, and he informed me that the regiment is leaving to be encamped at Brighton for the summer! I could not believe it, nor disguise my disappointment, and asked him what on earth we shall all do without the society of all the officers we have come to know so well. His replies were gentlemanly and thoughtful, yet he seems keen to be gone and spoke of little…

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all Mums in the US and Australia!
I am a little late posting the results of the competition - so sorry! I decided to award two books as there was such a warm response. Correct answers were entered in a draw. Books are winging their way to Schlomit in the USA and Sylvia in Malaysia. Thank you to everyone who entered - it's so lovely to hear from you all.

Here are the answers:

1) Jane, Elizabeth, Mary and Kitty (Catherine)

2) Harriet Forster

3) Mr Wickham

Pride and Prejudice Competition - Win a copy of Lydia Bennet's Story

It is Mother's Day in the USA on May 11th. In celebration of mothers everywhere, I have a competition to win a copy of Lydia Bennet's Story. The competition is open to everyone, regardless of the country in which you live.
Please e-mail your answers (don't forget to include your name) to effusions at btinternet dot com (say it out loud). The winner will be announced on Saturday, 10th May.

Answer the following questions:-

1. What are the names of Lydia Bennet's sisters?

2. Who takes Lydia Bennet to Brighton?

3. What is the name of the man that Lydia marries in Pride and Prejudice?



Good Luck!