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Showing posts from May, 2010

Persuasion, a film location, and a reading

Last Thursday evening I was invited along by Helen Wilkinson of P and P tours to come and do a reading of Willoughby's Return to a group she was leading on their Persuasion/Sense and Sensibility tour. Most exciting was the fact that the house I was to be giving my talk in was the very one they used in the BBC 1995 version of Persuasion which is a favourite film of mine. The house is stunningly beautiful and is also a B&B so you can actually stay in the house where Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds played Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot. Here is a link to a website about the house: Bathwick Gardens I was invited to supper beforehand which was taken in the dining room. Apparently, the BBC painted the walls especially for the film - the swags of fabric you can see in the photo are painted - a wonderful trompe l'oeil. Everyone had dressed for dinner and all looked so gorgeous - quite a few ladies, and two very brave gentlemen! I also met Hazel Jones, the author of Jane Austen and

Beechen Cliff Part Three!

Here we are at the top of Beechen Cliff at last! My own painting of the scene at Beechen Cliff shows Catherine Morland, Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor admiring the view from the top. Henry is pointing to a view in the distance and probably using terms like 'backgrounds' and 'foregrounds', 'middle distances' and 'picturesque' etc. about which, Catherine doesn't know very much. Picturesque, meaning literally 'fit to be made into a picture' was a popular term and pursuit in Jane Austen's day as her contemporaries roamed the countryside in search of 'beautiful and sublime' scenery. Jane Austen is having her own little bit of fun here when she describes how eagerly Catherine latches onto these new ideas, so much so, that she dismisses the whole of Bath as being unworthy of a decent view. There's more on this further down the post. Well, here are some of the photos that we took after we got to the top of Jacob's ladder. T

Beechen Cliff Part Two!

Well, I've rested long enough and will continue my walk up Beechen cliff, which, if you remember, features so delightfully in Northanger Abbey. I've included photos of the steps known as Jacob's ladder and the wonderful views over Bath as you climb to the top. I had to include some of Jane Austen's wonderful novel where Catherine, Henry, and his sister take a walk up to that noble hill. I thought it quite interesting that Catherine compares it to the scenery of the south of France even if the irony is that she's never been abroad - but, I think these photos show something of the views she would have observed, and it does have an exotic flavour, not to mention the gorgeous scent of wild garlic growing on either side! The next morning was fair, and Catherine almost expected another attack from the assembled party. With Mr. Allen to support her, she felt no dread of the event: but she would gladly be spared a contest, where victory itself was painful, and was heartily

Jane Austen's Regency World Magazine - Review for Willoughby's Return

Isn't this cover beautiful? It's a still from the fabulous film Brightstar about the romance between Keats and Fanny Brawne which is featured in the magazine. The Jane Austen's Regency World magazine has always been a favourite read of mine, but I was absolutely thrilled to bits to find Joceline Bury's review of Willoughby's Return in this month's issue. Thank you, Joceline, you've absolutely made my week! Sense and Sensibility is, of all Jane Austen’s novels, the most erotically charged, the most romantic, the most yearning. Its portrayal of the anguish of love unrequited is often physically painful to read; its heroines are at times breathtakingly modern in the risks they take in order to follow their hearts. Jane Odiwe, whose first novel imagined what really happened to Lydia Bennet, here takes Marianne Dashwood’s story beyond her marriage to Colonel Brandon, in a well-plotted and elegant romance. The rakish Willoughby is one of Austen’s most attractive l

News! Oh! yes, I always like news. (Emma)

Whilst I pause on the lower slopes of Beechen Cliff, I bring some most exciting news! On Austenprose this week the announcement was made that a new Jane Austen short story Anthology will be published in 2011 by Random House. I am so very thrilled and honoured to have been chosen to contribute a story. The lovely Laurel Ann Nattress will be our editor and guide on this most exciting journey. I will be among august company, indeed! Here is the list of contributing authors taken from Laurel Ann's website. Pamela Aidan (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Trilogy) Elizabeth Aston (Mr. Darcy’s Daughters, & Writing Jane Austen) Stephanie Barron (A Jane Austen Mystery Series, & The White Garden) Carrie Bebris (Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries Series) Diana Birchall (Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma, & Mrs. Elton in America) Frank Delaney (Shannon, Tipperary, & Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show) Monica Fairview (The Darcy Cousins, & The Other Mr. Darcy) Karen Joy Fowler (Jane Austen Book Club