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Showing posts from November, 2008

Gowland's Lotion, Boils and Balls!

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.
Friday, November 20th, 1801

The weather has been foul all day and we have not been able to move outdoors. Rebecca, our sweet maid, helped Kitty and I make a mask of egg whites and fuller’s earth for our complexions. Lord! how we laughed when it dried to a paste and then cracked, because we neither could look at the other without giggling. Mama’s bottle of Gowland’s lotion is half used and now hidden behind the wig stand on her dressing table but our skins are glowing and radiant!

Saturday, November 21st, 1801

It is still raining and despite our pleas, mama has forbidden us to go to Meryton today. She has suggested that we may catch a cold or worse and then infect Jane who is stil…

Pride and Prejudice - It is a truth universally acknowledged...

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

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

"My dear Mr. Bennet," said his lady to him one day, "have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?"

Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.

"But it is," returned she; "for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it."

Mr. Bennet made no answer.

"Do not you want to know who has taken it?" cried his wife impatiently.

"You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it."

This was invitation enough.

"Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the …

Mr Bingley issues an invitation for the Netherfield Ball!

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.
Thursday, November 19th,1801
The ball at Netherfield is set for Tuesday evening! I declare that I am the happiest girl in Hertfordshire - the prospect of dancing with all my favourite beaux is so thrilling that I do not know how I will ever sleep again.

Mama declared that the ball must be in Jane’s honour - she was so pleased that Mr Bingley had flattered her so much by bringing the invitation himself, although he had the misfortune of having his horrid sisters attending him.

Catherine and I must go into Meryton tomorrow to look in the shops and perchance pick a partner or two whilst out shopping!
I am happy for Jane, she is very excited at the thought of dancing with Mr Bingley a…

Supper and Cards with Aunt Philips and Mr Wickham

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.
Wednesday, November 18th, 1801

Being the youngest of five daughters has nothing to recommend it, especially when one is suffered to endure the intimate proximity of one’s cousin in the close confines of a carriage. Jane, Lizzy and Catherine were handed in, crushing themselves together, so as to make it impossible to admit anybody else, and so I was compelled to sit between my sister Mary and Mr Collins, who talked at me without pause for breath all the way to Meryton.

However, this sad start was soon forgotten as on entering my Aunt Philips's abode she immediately announced that Mr Wickham was in the house. As the gentlemen were not yet finished dining, we had to listen to C…

Lydia Bennet meets Mr Wickham!

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.

Tuesday, November 17th 1801

A day that started out as a dismal business with papa foisting Mr Collins out of his study and inviting him to accompany my sisters and I on our walk into town, has taken a most pleasurable and unlikely turn. We walked into Meryton, Catherine, Jane, Lizzy and I, with Mr Collins talking incessantly all the way. However, such a treat was in store as we reached the High Street. On the other side of the way, we spied Mr Denny, accompanied by an extremely gentleman-like figure, nodding and bowing in our direction. Chancing to meet them as they turned back, Kitty and I crossed the road as if to admire a striped pink sarcenet in a window just in time as we …

Mr Collins arrives from Hunsford

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.

Monday, November 16th 1801

Our cousin, Mr Collins, a hideously dull and ugly clergyman, arrived today. He is twenty five, but indeed looks much older and every time he opens his mouth, it is to deliver a sermon, or at least that is how it sounds to my ears. Mama declared privately that he is here to look over his possessions and chattels, for she says he will turn us all out as soon as my father is pronounced dead, as he is to inherit our Longbourn estate. I have taken steps to ensure that our paths will not cross very often. After dinner, it transpired that HE DOES NOT READ NOVELS and read from a set of Fordyce’s Sermons to my incredulous horror! I know I was more than a littl…

The Historical Novel Society, A Review for Lydia Bennet's Story

There is a review for Lydia Bennet's Story from the Historical Novel Society in this month's issue of their reviews magazine.

The flirtatious Lydia Bennet, the youngest sister in Pride and Prejudice, is the heroine of this delightful Jane Austen sequel....The narrative is interspersed with Lydia's diary entries, which are hilarious. Lydia matures quite a bit through the course of the novel and at the end is no longer the self-centred flirt she was at the beginning. The author makes this transition gradual and quite believable. The new characters are all very much in th spirit of Austen. I highly recommend this book to fans of Jane Austen or Regency romances.

Vicki Kondelik

Taken from their web site:

This is THE best place to find out about new historical fiction.

'The Historical Novels Review is where I find out what’s happening in the historical fiction market.' – Carole Blake, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency.

'I've just read Solander - it's a triumph!'…

An unexpected carriage comes to Longbourn

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.

Sunday, November 15th 1801

We were all surprised after coming home from church, by the arrival of a carriage we did not immediately recognise. In it were Jane and Lizzy, come home in Bingley’s equipage to rule the roost again and mither me beyond endurance. Papa seems very pleased about the affair but my mother does not, and I join her in thinking that my elder sister should have made more effort to secure her engagement to Mr Bingley. I am sure I would not be so tardy and would by now have marched him up the aisle. I never did see the attraction in Mr Bingley, which is just as well, because I feel sure had I made a play for him, the poor man would not have been able to resis…

Colonel Forster has some surprising news!

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.

Saturday, November 14th 1801

What a delightful day we have spent and what news I have to tell. If I were not sworn to secrecy, I might burst with the delicious knowledge of it all. We set forth into Meryton as soon as ever we could and found our friends in tremendous good spirits. As we approached the steps of Mrs Nicolson’s elegant lodgings, Colonel Forster emerged from the door, followed closely by Isabella, who was wishing him farewell. He clasped Isabella’s hand in his, raised it to his lips, bowed and set off jauntily down the High Street, declaring that he would call again tomorrow.

Once inside, I quite forgot myself and begged to know what had caused such animation in the…

Jane Austen's account of a November ball in 1800

In November 1800, Jane Austen was a month short of her 25th birthday. The following is a much edited letter, written to her sister Cassandra but I particularly love her description of the ball and more particularly the images that are conjured up by the descriptions of the people who attended.
The lovely illustrations are by Philip Gough from Sense and Sensibility.

Steventon: Thursday, November 20, 1800.

MY DEAR CASSANDRA,

Your letter took me quite by surprise this morning; you are very welcome, however, and I am very much obliged to you. I believe I drank too much wine last night at Hurstbourne; I know not how else to account for the shaking of my hand to-day. You will kindly make allowance therefore for any indistinctness of writing, by attributing it to this venial error.

Your desiring to hear from me on Sunday will, perhaps, bring you a more particular account of the ball than you may care for, because one is prone to think much more of such things the morning after they happen, than …

Bingley promises a ball!

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.

Thursday, November 12th, 1801

I have been provoked beyond belief. Mama insisted that we break our engagement with our dear friends, and accompany her to Netherfield Park to visit Jane. It is so very vexing and I do not know when I will forgive my sister for being ill. How she could choose to be unwell at such a time is plaguing in the extreme. Have sent a servant with a note to Meryton - I do hope we will be excused our indisposition and not be snubbed!

Jane looked in perfect good health, but our mother urged maintenance of her present situation. With the apothecary‘s collusion and Mr Bingley’s insistence, the matter was settled. Kitty and I were forced to sit with the company w…

Two Reviews for Lydia Bennet's Story from Bath

I've had two lovely reviews from Bath this week, the first from Joceline Bury of Jane Austen's World Magazine and the second from The Bath Chronicle, Bath's own newspaper.

Joceline Bury says 'Jane Odiwe...gives us a heroine who is remarkably likeable...Lydia's diary... a catalogue of frivolity - reveals a great sense of fun, an engaging lack of self-pity and an unerring eye for a good-looking chap ...(Odiwe's) technique of interspersing third person narrative with 'diary extracts' works particularly well as a way of counterpointing the disastrous events in Lydia's life with her indomitable optimism and spirit.'

There is also a competition in the magazine to win three copies of my book. If you'd like to enter you can subscribe to the magazine by clicking here
The new format magazine is just the right size to pop into your handbag and has some very interesting articles:

Credit Crunch: Austen Bank Goes Bust
Pride and Prejudice - The New Musical
Lost…

Jane Bennet is unwell!

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.
Wednesday, November 11th, 1801

Jane got drenched through yesterday and is now feeling far from well. My mother is very pleased that she is thrown together with Mr Bingley and I’ve half a mind that she hopes that gentleman is visiting my sick sister in her bedchamber.

Lizzy decided to visit Jane at Netherfield, so Catherine and I seized upon the opportunity to escape home at our earliest convenience. We made haste as fast as we could in order that we may see something of Captain Carter and said goodbye to Lizzy at Meryton.

We called on Mrs Nicolson (one of the officer’s wives) and found a merry party gathered in her parlour. Colonel Forster and Captain Carter, with Mr Denny, Mr …

The Beautifull Cassandra.

Jane Austen was writing from a very early age. Her family kept some of her early pieces, one of which was this comic 'novel' believed to have been written between the years 1787-90, when Jane was aged between 12 and 15 years old. I think it really illustrates well her sense of humour which was to become integral to her writing later on.

THE BEAUTIFULL CASSANDRA

A NOVEL IN TWELVE CHAPTERS

Dedicated by permission to Miss Austen.
Dedication:

MADAM

You are a Phoenix. Your taste is refined, your Sentiments are noble, & your Virtues innumerable. Your Person is lovely, your Figure, elegant, & your Form, magestic. Your Manners are polished, your Conversation is rational & your appearance singular. If, therefore, the following Tale will afford one moment's amusement to you, every wish will be gratified of

Your most obedient
humble servant

THE AUTHOR

CHAPTER THE FIRST

CASSANDRA was the Daughter & the only Daughter of a celebrated Millener in Bond Street. Her father …

Elizabeth Bennet refuses Mr Darcy!

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.

Friday, November 6th, 1801

We attended an evening party at Lucas Lodge tonight. Kitty and I were never without a partner - my satin slippers are worn into shreds! I wore my sprigged muslin with a pink ribbon sash and was delighted with my looks as were several gentlemen of my acquaintance. Captain Carter admired my gown excessively, indeed, he scarce took his eyes off me for the entire evening. I declare he is quite smitten!
Mr Darcy spent all his time staring at Elizabeth.

He had the audacity to ask her to dance but I am glad to note that she refused him. Jane and Bingley spent the whole evening looking into one another’s eyes - mama has them married off already and is planning …

A Review for Lydia Bennet's Story from Reader's Respite

The reviews are still coming in - I am very grateful for them all. I'd like to thank Michele for this one at Reader's Respite

Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Odiwe
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Book Source: Sourcebooks, Inc.

It is my greatest desire to fall in love and catch myself a husband, yet, whilst I am truly proficient in the art of becoming enamoured, so far finding my partner in life eludes me, however vigilant I have been in the endeavor.
Lydia Bennet's Story

As a true Jane Austen fan, I had until recently shunned all attempted "sequels" to any of Ms. Austen's great works. Fearing disappointment, I did not want to sully what to me is the perfect novel: Pride and Prejudice. As it turns out, I need not have worried. The term "sequel," I am happy to report, has no application whatsoever to Jane Odiwe's delightful novel, Lydia Bennet's Story.

The novel explores the life of Lydia, the youngest and arguably most insipi…

Willoughby's Return

My new book which is a Sense and Sensibility sequel has a new title, Willoughby's Return, a tale of irresistible temptation'. It is to be published by Sourcebooks next autumn, so I am very excited about that! Here's a little taster:

When Marianne Dashwood weds Colonel Brandon both are aware of the other’s past attachments; Marianne’s grand passion for the charming but ruthless John Willoughby and Brandon’s tragic amour for his lost love Eliza. Three years on Marianne is living with her husband and child at Delaford Park, deeply in love and contented for the most part, although Marianne's passionate, impulsive and sometimes jealous behaviour is an impediment to her true happiness. News that John Willoughby and his wife have returned to the West Country brings back painful memories for Marianne and with the demise of Mrs Smith of Allenham Court comes the possibility of Mr Willoughby and his wife returning to live near Barton and the surrounding area of Devon and Dorset, a…

A Whole Regiment of Soldiers!

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.

Thursday, October 29th, 1801

Kitty and I ventured into town this morning on our Aunt Philips' intelligence of the latest news concerning the arrival of a whole regiment of soldiers! The streets were lined with girls, mamas and matrons alike from the surrounding neighbourhood and as our eyes beheld the uniformed youth marching down the High Street, there were shrieks of joy heard all around. We were not disappointed, line upon line of handsome soldiers and debonair officers strutted along the thoroughfare, a blaze of scarlet and gleaming gold buttons. I do not know when I have ever felt so happy, especially when I caught the eye of several officers as my huzzahs reached thei…