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E-book Giveaway - Jane Austen's Birthday!

Free E-books from Sourcebooks on December 16 - One Day Only From Leah Hultenschmidt of Sourcebooks:

December 16 is Jane Austen’s birthday and as the world’s leading Jane Austen publisher, Sourcebooks, is throwing a huge one-day-only birthday book bash. We will be offering special ebook pricing on ten of the best Austen-inspired novels – and what better pricing could there be than free?

On December 16 only, the following bestselling ebooks will be available free through our retail partners (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc):

Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One by Sharon Lathan 
Eliza’s Daughter by Joan Aiken
The Darcy’s & the Bingley’s by Marsha Altman
Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll
What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown
The Pemberley Chronicles by Rebecca Collins
The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview
Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange
Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Abigail Reynolds 

But the party doesn’t stop there, because a…

Happy Birthday Jane Event on Thursday, 16th December!

It wouldn't be fair to neglect someone as important and dear to us as  Jane Austen on her birthday. She was born on 16th December 1775, it’ll be 235 years next week. We owe so many immensely pleasant moments to her that we decided she deserved a great B-day celebration.My Jane Austen Book Club and other bloggers and Austen dedicated writers are going to have a blog party in her honour. You are all invited to join us on our “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JANE!” event on Thursday December 16th. Who will be there? Where is the party going on?

1.Adriana Zardini at  Jane Austen Sociedade do Brasil 2.Laurel Ann at Austenprose 3.Vic Sanborn atJane Austen's World 4.Katherine Cox at November's Autumn 5.Karen Wasylowski at Karen Wasylowski

A Skating Party in Willoughby's Return

As I look through my window this morning I see Jack Frost has been in the night decorating the trees and hedges with ice crystals and sprinkling the grass with fairy sparkles and spangles. There is a robin chirruping on the holly tree, his scarlet breast glowing as he surveys the scene. The picture could be from a Christmas card and all it needs is a large red velvet ribbon to frame it in a swag and bow.
The wintry weather here in England reminded me of this extract in Willoughby's Return. Margaret Dashwood and her sister Marianne Brandon are in London for the season. The snow has arrived and they are tempted out to enjoy the wintry weather by Margaret's friends. However, Marianne has not reckoned on bumping into a certain person she would really wish to avoid at all costs.

Mr Carey and his sister came with an invitation for Margaret to go skating with them in Hyde Park on Thursday. The Serpentine had frozen to a solid thickness, they reported, adding that Mr Mortimer and his s…

Pride and Prejudice, November 26th

In Pride and Prejudice when Elizabeth goes touring to Derbyshire with her aunt and uncle they visit Pemberley and to Lizzy's horror she comes face to face with Mr Darcy. She's really embarrassed because she's turned down his marriage proposal and she is mortified at what he will think of her looking over his house and grounds. But, it's at this point in the book that Darcy starts to show that he's really taken notice of Elizabeth's criticisms of him and he makes an enormous effort to be extra civil and attentive to her and her relatives.

During the visit he introduces his sister Georgiana, and Lizzy discovers that Bingley is with him also. Her sister Jane is in love with Bingley, and been disappointed by him. Yet, it is very clear that he has not stopped thinking about Jane and this is proved when he remembers the exact date when he saw and danced with her last - November 26th.

Here's an extract from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice followed by one of …

Radio Four Juvenile Jane

Blogger is being naughty this morning and won't let me post any pictures or hidden links!
I wanted to draw your attention to this wonderful programme about Jane Austen's early writing which can be listened to on BBC iplayer.
From the BBC with the link: Juvenile Jane - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00w1yqk

Listen now (30 minutes)
Availability:
6 days left to listen
Last broadcast yesterday, 11:30 on BBC Radio 4.
SYNOPSIS
Jane Austen's surprisingly neglected but delightfully precocious and revealing early works celebrated by Austen expert Janet Todd with the help of the writer and illustrator Posy Simmonds and the actor Anna Maxwell Martin.

Considering how frequently Jane Austen's six great novels are adapted for film, radio and television, it is perhaps surprising that the three small exercise books containing twenty two little stories and plays written during her teen years have not received more notice. Some of these stories - with titles such as "The Adventures of Mr …

Bath at Night, Pulteney Street and Catherine Morland

Here are some photos of Bath at night showing Pulteney Street and Pulteney Bridge accompanied by a short extract from Northanger Abbey. Pulteney Street is where Catherine stays with her friends, the Allens, and apart from the cars looked very much as it does today.

I love this exchange between Catherine and her brother James which is full of Jane Austen's humour!

“Well, Catherine, how do you like my friend Thorpe?” instead of answering, as she probably would have done, had there been no friendship and no flattery in the case, “I do not like him at all,” she directly replied, “I like him very much; he seems very agreeable.”

“He is as good–natured a fellow as ever lived; a little of a rattle; but that will recommend him to your sex, I believe: and how do you like the rest of the family?”

“Very, very much indeed: Isabella particularly.”

“I am very glad to hear you say so; she is just the kind of young woman I could wish to see you attached to; she has so much good sense, and is so th…

Shopping in Regency London, and Willoughby's Return

I've just been in Bath this last weekend and inevitably find myself wandering round the shops, which at this time of year is a real treat as there are all sorts of tempting gifts on offer with Christmas in mind. Jane Austen enjoyed a little bit of shopping too, if this next account is anything to go by. In 1811 she was staying with her brother Henry in Sloane Street to go through her edits on Sense and Sensibility. After Chawton village, London must have seemed to offer limitless choices. Here she is writing to her sister Cassandra and describes how she was tempted by the fabrics on offer, trimmings and stockings.
I am sorry to tell you that I am getting very extravagant, and spending all my money, and, what is worse for you, I have been spending yours too; for in a linendraper's shop to which I went for checked muslin, and for which I was obliged to give seven shillings a yard, I was tempted by a pretty-coloured muslin, and bought ten yards of it on the chance of your liking i…

Jane Austen's Fiction Manuscripts

Here are a couple of interesting links to news about Jane Austen on the net which discuss Jane's books being heavily edited and there is even a suggestion that she was a bad speller. How can they say such a thing?!

Here's one from the Guardian which does at least try to defend our Jane! There are also some interesting comments below the article where the general public have added their three penny worth!

If you'd like to judge for yourself, head on over to Jane Austen's Fiction Manuscripts where you can see some 1100 pages of fiction written in Jane's own hand. It is indeed wonderful to see that she too had messy jottings, which surely as a toiling writer is the only way to work. I have to say I find it extremely heartening to see that she didn't write it all down perfectly. Can you imagine how thrilled she would have been if she'd had access to our modern technology where it is so easy to delete mistakes and write new drafts, not to mention having built-in …

Jane Austen's House Museum - part two!

Recently Amanda Grange and I had a lovely day out at Jane Austen's House Museum - don't you think we look very much at home? Jane Austen moved to Chawton, a large cottage on her brother Edward's estate in July 1809. It was possibly a former coaching inn at one time and in Jane's day was a busier place as coaches rumbled past the windows day and night. One of Jane's nieces remembered how comforting it was 'to have the awful stillness of night frequently broken by the sound of many passing carriages, which seemed sometimes even to shake the bed' - perhaps not a sentiment that would be enjoyed by many today. Jane Austen looked forward to the move. After her father's death in Bath, their circumstances had been greatly reduced and eventually they had moved to Southampton to live with one of the sailor brothers. An opportunity for a home of their own for the Austen women was not a chance to be passed up, and Jane looked forward to buying a piano again instead…

A Day Out At Jane Austen's House Museum, Chawton

I had such a busy week last week packed full of exciting things. I have to tell you my life is usually a very ordinary one spent writing and looking after my family. But last week was full of magical days and even a larger than life evening or two. It started off when I met Monica Fairview and Victoria Connelly in London before we went off to a dinner given by our wonderful publisher Dominique Raccah of Sourcebooks.
I met Monica and Victoria in St. James's in the afternoon so we could have a wander round, soak up some Regency history, and look at the shops. You can see a photo of Monica and I standing with a statue of Beau Brummel in Jermyn Street at the end of the Piccadilly arcade. Further along is the wonderful Floris perfume shop which is celebrating its 280 year anniversary this year. There were some gorgeous examples of old perfume bottles and packaging displayed in the shop, and the very kind assistant told us that some of the popular perfumes of the day were Jasmine, Steph…

Regency Parade - Part Two!

I thought you might like to see some more of the photos from the Regency Promenade at the start of the Jane Austen Festival. The costumes were incredible! I can't make a mention of Bath without thinking of Northanger Abbey or Persuasion. So many of the girls looked as excited as Catherine Morland that I have to include this extract. This first photo shows a view of Great Pulteney Street where Catherine lodged with Mrs Allen. 

They arrived at Bath. Catherine was all eager delight — her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached its fine and striking environs, and afterwards drove through those streets which conducted them to the hotel. She was come to be happy, and she felt happy already.

They were soon settled in comfortable lodgings in Pulteney Street.

...our heroine’s entree into life could not take place till after three or four days had been spent in learning what was mostly worn, and her chaperone was provided with a dress of the newest fashion. Catherine too made som…

A Regency Promenade in Bath at the Jane Austen Festival

I thought you might like to see some photos that were taken of the Jane Austen Festival in Bath. At the start of the festival there is a grand Regency parade where huge numbers of people turn out in their favourite period dress. There were some spectacular outfits, gorgeous bonnets and hats, not to mention accessories. I met fellow author Victoria Connelly at the Pump Rooms for the start of the parade, and it was also lovely to meet up with Isa from Malaga who often stops by to visit my blog. Poor Isa discovered she had mumps when she got home - I hope you're on the mend now!
What made it extra special was to see so many gentleman attired, and didn't they all look splendid! The promenaders take a tour through the town walking up Milsom Street, George Street, and onto Gay Street, which leads to the Circus, and the Royal Crescent beyond. If you'd like to see more photos and some more about my day with Victoria Connelly, head on over to Austen Authors.Here we are at the end of…