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March 16, 2007


The paperback edition of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice was published this week. I am happy to buy revatio have the hardcover edition, courtesy of dear friends Mr. & Mrs. Minch. Below is an article that discusses annotated works, particularly P&P. Also included is a quiz - and the answers. And I will be in time for the group read over at Pemberley - hurrah!

To my great shame I got one of the questions wrong. Clearly I need to re-read! ;)

You’ve Read the Novels (Now Read the Footnotes) [NYT]
They Digress: Books Mentioned in the Article [NYT]
English Wit: Questions From �So You Think You Know Jane Austen?’ [NYT]
English Lit: Answers to the Questions [NYT]

Yours, &c., LC at 05:42 PM | Jane | TrackBack (0)

September 24, 2006

"Help! My Husband Is In Love With a 19th-Century Authoress!"

Of all the problems to have...

Fri Sep 22, 12:06 PM ET

DEAR MARGO: My dilemma is really simple. I happen to love a certain 19th-century authoress and have read every biography I can find about her.

Ever since I was 14 years old and read her classic order revatio novel "Pride and Prejudice," I have been bewitched. She is a lady and a half, the gilder of my heart, the best woman I am sorry I never met.

I was recently at a party with my wife and was asked why I like Jane Austen so much. (The question actually was why I am so "obsessed.") I responded to the question with vigor and as eloquently as a man "in love" can be allowed.

The problem is my wife. She is crazy jealous and has suggested that I should be married to Lady J.A. instead of her; that I never seem to have that glow in my eyes when speaking of her as I do when speaking of the great Miss Austen of Steventon, 1775-1817.

I am sure, Margo, you would join revatio online me in declaring my wife a little over the top and unreasonable about this. Is there a way you could articulate why this jealousy is irrational?


DEAR DEV: I think the only time a woman can legitimately be jealous of another female, no longer alive, is when the deceased had been her husband's great love and left said man a widower. (My own husband gets moony over Dawn Upshaw and Mme. Curie, but since I can neither sing nor understand nuclear physics, I harbor no competitive urges.)

To quote another author, Dickens, Ms. Austen is "dead as a doornail," so perhaps you could follow that avenue to talk a little "Sense and Sensibility" into your green-eyed wife.

Were I she, I should feel lucky that your most revatio mastercard beloved author is a woman who understands women so well. Maybe try reading "Persuasion" out loud to each other, and she might come to share your passion.


Yours, &c., LC at 10:21 PM | Jane | TrackBack (0)

September 22, 2006

Pride and Prejudice: The Music Video

Yours, &c., LC at 03:21 PM | Jane | TrackBack (0)

February 07, 2006

Pride and Prejudice, Alliance Theatre


Going to see a staging of this with friends tonight. Should be fun.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:38 PM | Jane | TrackBack (0)

December 22, 2005

What the...?

From Overheard in New York:

Chick on cell: I just wrote a paper comparing the relationship between Hannibal Lecter and Starling to the relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.

--Columbia University

Is it ok to think this girl is an idiot?

Yours, &c., LC at 01:42 PM | Jane | TrackBack (0)

November 14, 2005

First Impressions: Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

The UA Tara on Cheshire Bridge Road is now buy revatio screening P&P here in Atlanta, which I went to see on Friday night.

If this version introduces people to reading the novel, that's fine by me. I certainly hope people will read the novel, which will be a much richer experience.

Being faithful to the novel does not require an exacting, literal following of the narrative. However, being true to the spirit of the novel is important.

With that in mind, I really don't think that BIG, DANGLING PIG BALLS are ever appropriate in an Austen adaptation.

Spoilers, such as they are, after the jump.

Overall it's a nice adaptation. I enjoyed it, I liked it, but I didn't love it. But it's definitely worth seeing on the big screen. There's a shot of Keira Knightley standing revatio online on a cliff in Derbyshire that's just stunning. And the first sight of Pemberley (Chatsworth) is truly stunning for both the characters and the viewers.

We're given an earthier, more Gothic version of Pride & Prejudice. The Bennet country home is more of a bohemian enclave, with mud puddles and geese flocking around and the aforementioned pig and grubby workers in the background. Knightley is a very dark Elizabeth - dark hair, dark eye makeup, dark clothing, perhaps to play up the contrast with her very fair sister Jane (Rosamund Pike). A bit too dark, but there it is.

Mr. Bennet (Donald Sutherland) is a more genial patriarch than in the novel. His teasing of Mrs. Bennet is not quite so barbed in sarcasm, and he is affectionate towards his family. Brenda Blethyn is quite good as Mrs. Bennet - although not quite the complete silly, insensible woman. You realize that her goal of seeing her daughters married isn't just a matter of idle matchmaking, but that she does care for the happiness and security of her children. The other daughters are foolish and flighty in their own ways.

Matthew MacFadyen plays Mr. Darcy as stiff and awkward, but in a way that persuades you that while Darcy is indeed proud at first, he is also ill at ease in the company of strangers. He adores his sister and smiles warmly when at ease. There are definite sparks between the characters as played by MacFadyen and Knightley. You're reminded that Darcy and Elizabeth are young people, who are truly falling in love for the first time.

Other fine turns include Tom Hollander as Mr. Collins - who is not so much smarmy as puffed-up and foolish, Simon Woods as Mr. Bingley, who is charming and order revatio awkward but endearingly earnest. And there is Judi Dench, who is suitably imperious as Lady Catherine, big hair and all.

The characters do seem like real people - they interrupt each other, talk over one another. They way they speak does seem like real conversation. Some of the language did trouble me, in the sense that some of it was too modern, or too clear-cut. For example, when Lizzie defends her sister Jane's apparent lack of expressive feeling, she exclaims to Darcy that "She's shy! She doesn't talk about her feelings to anyone, not even to me!" This is a rough paraphrase, but close enough.

Earlier I described the film as having a more Gothic quality than other adaptations. When Elizabeth and Darcy finally reach their mutual understanding, it involves Darcy striding out of the fog in his greatcoat, his hair all amuss, his eyes blazing with passion. Both have been unable to sleep and are just out walking the moors apparently. But really, I didn't mind this. ;)

The following may be what has apparently been added to the American version of the film. At the end we're brought to Pemberley once more. Lizzie and Darcy are now married, and are out of doors once again in the middle of night in their bedclothes. Darcy tells Elizabeth "You have bewitched me, body and soul" and there is the great, soulful Kiss.

One last bit: IMDB notes that Emma Thompson did an uncredited, unpaid rewrite of the script. If only she'd gotten to write the screenplay! However, she is given a special thanks at the end of the credits (which I missed, since I didn't stay for those).

Yours, &c., LC at 12:17 PM | Film/TV , Jane | TrackBack (1)

November 10, 2005

From today's Lloyd Grove "Lowdown"

Everybody just calm down. Sheesh.

Austen flick irks those with Jane addiction

There's a spot of bother brewing between fledgling Brit director Joe Wright - whose movie version of "Pride and Prejudice" opens tomorrow - and members of the Jane Austen Society of North America.

I'm told that in a National Public Radio report, also scheduled for tomorrow, diehard fans of the 1813 novel voice a litany of complaints about Wright's mushy, souped-up version - the latest in a long line - of the precise and elegant Austen.

Wright responds with an impolite suggestion.

"They can go jump in a lake," Wright, I'm told, advises NPR L.A. correspondent Kim Masters for her piece on "Morning Edition."

Wright sniffs that he's not interested in "quibblers," adding that he didn't make the film for them. "I made it for myself, really," he reportedly reveals.

The trouble started a couple of months ago when University of Colorado English Prof. Joan Klingel Ray, president of the Jane Austen Society, slagged off the movie in an interview with the U.K.'s Telegraph, criticizing everything from Matthew MacFadyen as the male lead, Mr. Darcy, to the movie's in-your-face sexual imagery.

"The Darcy in the film does not have the quality of attractiveness that Colin Firth has," Ray asserted, referring to the star of the acclaimed 1995 miniseries.

She added: "The film is full of sexual imagery, which is totally revatio mastercard inappropriate to Austen's novel. In one scene, a wild boar, which I assume is supposed to represent Darcy, wobbles through a farm with its sexual equipment on show."

After her interview ran, Ray reveals, Focus Features threatened to cancel a screening of the film in Milwaukee for the Austen Society's annual convention.

The screening was held, though, and while some Austen aficionados liked the movie, others complained about "lame" dialogue and Keira Knightley's posture.

I hear that a Focus Features flack actually tried to forbid Masters from quoting Ray because the professor is no longer president of the society.

Wrong. Ray's term ends next month.

Yours, &c., LC at 08:48 AM | Film/TV , Jane | TrackBack (0)

November 08, 2005

U.S. Premiere of Pride & Prejudice

From today's Liz Smith:

That Literacy Partners gang of mine never stops trying to raise money to teach people how to read and write. This Thursday we'll offer the U.S. premiere of "Pride and Prejudice" with Keira Knightley, Judi Dench and Donald Sutherland. Call (212) 573-6933 about the movie and supper after at the Central Park Boathouse with the stars.
I saw the trailer on tv last night. I think the guy playing Darcy will be ok, although I'm not liking his hair. Keira Knightley, I guess I'm resigned to her as Elizabeth Bennet, sexiest tomboy beanpole on the planet. But what is up with Judi Dench's bride of Frankenstein hair? On top of that, there's a modern-day pop song playing throughout the trailer. I know they're going for a wide audience, but oh does it make me cringe.

I'll go see this, but I'm not going in with much expectation or hope.

Yours, &c., LC at 08:51 AM | Film/TV , Jane , New York minutes | TrackBack (0)

November 07, 2005

Austen in the eyes of Literary Darwinists

A new view on Pride and Prejudice, as an example of this form of criticism:

...[F]or an emerging school of literary criticism known as Literary Darwinism, the novel is significant for different reasons. Just as Charles Darwin studied animals to discover the patterns behind their development, Literary Darwinists read books in search of innate patterns of human behavior: child bearing and rearing, efforts to acquire resources (money, property, influence) and competition and cooperation within families and communities. They say that it's impossible to fully appreciate and understand a literary text unless you keep in mind that humans behave in certain universal ways and do so because those behaviors are hard-wired into us. For them, the most effective and truest works of literature are those that reference or exemplify these basic facts.

The Literary Darwinists [NYT Magazine]

Yours, &c., LC at 12:57 PM | Jane , Writing & Language | TrackBack (0)

October 12, 2005

Austen bits

One Book, One Chicago - A bit late on this, but Pride & Prejudice is the current selection. [Thanks to Richard Novak]

And for font fanatics, may I present the Jane Austen font.

Yours, &c., LC at 06:13 PM | Jane , Sundries | TrackBack (0)

July 13, 2005

Me & Mr. Darcy in Sonoma

Me & Mr. Darcy

(Click on image for the superfluous large version.)

Some of us did manage to have literary discussions about Austen, in between the wine, the divine food, the pool, the hot tub, and the film marathons, including what's known as the Power P&P - the 1995 Pride & Prejudice miniseries pared down to two hours. It's a good thing I knew the lines, because sometimes one could hardly hear the dialogue for all the hoots of laughter and salty remarks.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:08 PM | Jane , Travel | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 23, 2005

At Home with Sandy Lerner

All That Glitters Is Not Silicon [NYT] A profile of Sandy Lerner and her Virginia estate. A founder of Cisco Systems, she also greatly esteems Jane Austen, and to some of us is better known for her work in establishing the Chawton House Library and Study Centre.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:34 PM | Jane | TrackBack (0)

June 14, 2005

Recent Austen Scholarship

In Love with Jane (Diane Johnson, The New York Review of Books, v. 52, no. 11, June 23, 2005) - Johnson, author of such works as Le Divorce, reviews some of the recent scholarship on Jane Austen.

Yours, &c., LC at 08:47 AM | Books , Jane | TrackBack (0)

February 06, 2005

"Happy" Endings in Austen

What seems to be more important than the sudden and fortunate event, however, because it precedes the ending again and again, in whatever manner the end is produced, is that the heroine is prepared to accept unhappiness. The endings of Jane Austen's novels are never sentimental because before she will allow the happy result the heroine must face the fact that she has lost.... The reader may refuse to believe...because he has been given a different set of expectations, but the heroine must believe. She must not simply see the threat as another obstacle that she can do something about, and she must not despair because, having lost, there is nothing in life for her to do. She must really see it as a loss, absorb it as irreversible fact, and then come to terms with herself and go ahead with what she meant to do now. She often finds herself in the same place and in the same company as she was at the beginning, but she cannot be the same person herself because time has made a difference and things will never be the same again. She must in the same place face a new time, and it is very hard.... [Austen's characters] must accept their unhappiness before they are granted happiness. The reward then is not the essential thing because it need never have arrived; that may well be dependent on chance; what is important is that at the time it is granted the heroine is worthy of a happiness that has a meaning. She would have been worthy of it even if her lot had proved unhappy because in her place she has used her time well, and that is not a matter of chance. (Tave, ch. 1, pp. 17-18, added emphasis)

-Some Words About Jane Austen (1973), Stuart M. Tave

Austen's genius never fails to take my breath away. She gives us the happy ending, bringing the lovers together at last with some tidy summary along the lines of "And so they realized their true feelings and were married. Finis." But that's not the real conclusion Austen has in mind. It's the heroine's successful examination of her life - her difficult, heartbreaking journey to true understanding, unstinting self-knowledge. And having arrived at - survived, even - such knowing, she is able to accept what lies before her - the unhappiness of having lost the man she loves, of resolving to go on with her life, making the best of what remains.

That Austen finally does offer the resolution that both the heroine and the reader most desire, albeit in the sparest of detail, what lingers, what cannot be ignored is the undercurrent of chance, the sense that this happy conclusion was not guaranteed. Austen gives us plenty of examples of characters who do not demand of themselves the same rigorous self-knowing, and in the end they are disappointed, tragic figures. For Austen's heroine, this is the happiness that is earned after great personal struggle, and it is therefore to be more sweetly cherished.

Yours, &c., LC at 10:51 AM | Jane | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Softly but Certainly

In Jane Austen time moves softly but certainly, as a natural and inevitable line of life. It is measured by the watch and by the calendar, which mark its divisions, and in those divisions the characters must act appropriately if they are to live with a real fresh life and vigor. In those lives that seem to continue in much the same way from day to day, with little variety of incident, little touched by the world of large action, fixed in one place, there come, again and again, times to make a judgment, times to make a moral choice, and there is a certain amount of time in which to make it, an amount appropriate to know what should be known, feel what should be felt, think what should be thought, do what should be done, neither too quickly nor too slowly for the occasion. There is no choice of standing still. One cannot "dwell." (Tave, ch. 1, p.14)

-Some Words About Jane Austen (1973), Stuart M. Tave

Addendum: I'm sure I have a comment about this passage, but I'm letting my thoughts percolate for a bit.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:23 AM | Jane | TrackBack (0)

January 11, 2005

Ch. 1 "Limitations and Definitions"

Some interesting passages from the Stuart Tave book (Some Words About Jane Austen, ISBN 0226790177, 1973):

A correct knowledge of geography - to know where one is - and tranquillity of the right sort - to live satisfactorily where one is - seem to be related virtues; both, if they come, come as earned acquisitions, in time....With varying degrees of foolishness and awareness there are many characters in Jane Austen who...reshape the space and time they inhabit to make it a creation of their own wishes. (Tave, p. 4)
Time and space in Jane Austen are not what a reader raised on twentieth-century literature is likely to assume they must be by nature. They are not problematic or oppressive. They are not puzzling mysteries and they are not impositions upon the human spirit to be rebelled against or transcended. On the contrary, they have coherence and help give shape to human life; they are there to be used or abused. If they seem to simplify life they do not make it easier, because they allow no cosmic excuses. They are limited and must be understood, but the limits set the conditions within which action must be taken, here and now or not at all, and it is the ability to act with rectitude and grace under those inescapable conditions that distinguishes among human beings. (id., p.6)
and also:
To be unable to stay in one place, to be restless, is to have an unsettled mind. (id.)
On Maria Bertram, in Mansfield Park:
There is no condition that can satisfy Maria because she has never learned in time, has never been taught, to accept those limiting conditions which are unavoidable and to which she must shape herself; if she were able to look within herself she could find sufficient space for the largest action, for the finest restraint." (id., p.8)

Yours, &c., LC at 08:05 AM | Jane | TrackBack (0)

January 09, 2005


I've been out of town for a few days. More on that later. On one of my jaunts I found a used copy of Some Words of Jane Austen by Stuart M. Tave (University of Chicago Press, 1973). I'm only a few pages in, but I like it so far. Tave opens his book with two epigraphs:

The most beautiful lives, in my opinion, are those which conform to the common and human model, with order, but without miracle and without extravagant behavior.
-Montaigne, "Of Experience"

If one wants uncommon experiences, a little renunciation, a little performance of duty, will give one far more unusual sensations than all the fine free passion in the universe.
-The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell

While these quotations appear before a collection of essays about the works of Jane Austen, maybe it's also because of the new year that I find these words so compelling. I've actually scrawled an over-ambitious list of resolutions. (No. 1: No more cropped pants. EVER!)

Synonyms for resolution include:

definition: answer
syn.: analysis, assertion, band-aid, breakdown, call, conclusion, decision, declaration, determination, dissection, elucidation, end, exposition, finding, interpretation, judgment, motion, nod, outcome, pay dirt, presentation, proposal, proposition, quick fix, recitation, recommendation, resolve, settlement, solution, solving, sorting out, ticket, unraveling, upshot, verdict, working out

definition: determination
syn.: aim, boldness, constancy, courage, dauntlessness, decidedness, decision, declaration, dedication, determination, doggedness, earnestness, energy, firmness, fixed purpose, fortitude, guts, heart, immovability, intent, intention, judgment, mettle, moxie, obstinacy, perseverance, pluck, purpose, purposefulness, purposiveness, relentlessness, resoluteness, resolve, settlement, sincerity, spirit, spunk, staunchness, staying power, steadfastness, stubbornness, tenacity, verdict, will, willpower

Some of these are preferable to others, such as determination, fixed purpose, or courage. Others seem to have less lasting effects: band-aid or quick fix. Some seem to convey compromise or an element of chance: settlement, sorting out, working out, upshot. Other words speak more to me about the difficulty of maintaining one's resolve, of hanging on to one's decision, if need be, by the skin of one's teeth: doggedness, steadfastness, perseverance, tenacity, fortitude.

It's early yet in the year. No need to drive myself so that I abandon my goals as lost causes, as reason for disappointment or heartbreak. If I can merely hold fast, if I can remain fixed of purpose, then sometimes that will be enough. If. If. If.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:12 PM | Jane , Writing & Language | TrackBack (0)

December 16, 2004

Happy Birthday

Jane Austen was born today in 1775.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:05 PM | Jane | TrackBack (0)

August 23, 2004

Jane Austen, an Introduction

Jane Austen: A Love Story [Need a password? Try BugMeNot] A weekend article in the Washington Post provides a good introduction to Jane Austen and explains why her books remain popular today, even as they are filtered through modern film adaptations and novels like The Jane Austen Book Club (which I liked very much).

Yours, &c., LC at 05:07 PM | Jane | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 08, 2004

On Persuasion, Friendship, Affection, Arguments & Disputes

From one of the early conversations between Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, with an interjection from Mr. Darcy's good friend, Charles Bingley:

"To yield readily -- easily -- to the persuasion of a friend is no merit with you."

"To yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either."

"You appear to me, Mr. Darcy, to allow nothing for the influence of friendship and affection. A regard for the requester would often make one readily yield to a request without waiting for arguments to reason one into it. I am not particularly speaking of such a case as you have supposed about Mr. Bingley. We may as well wait, perhaps, till the circumstance occurs, before we discuss the discretion of his behaviour thereupon. But in general and ordinary cases between friend and friend, where one of them is desired by the other to change a resolution of no very great moment, should you think ill of that person for complying with the desire, without waiting to be argued into it?"

"Will it not be advisable, before we proceed on this subject, to arrange with rather more precision the degree of importance which is to appertain to this request, as well as the degree of intimacy subsisting between the parties?"

"By all means," cried Bingley; "Let us hear all the particulars, not forgetting their comparative height and size; for that will have more weight in the argument, Miss Bennet, than you may be aware of. I assure you that if Darcy were not such a great tall fellow, in comparison with myself, I should not pay him half so much deference. I declare I do not know a more aweful object than Darcy, on particular occasions, and in particular places; at his own house especially, and of a Sunday evening when he has nothing to do."

Mr. Darcy smiled; but Elizabeth thought she could perceive that he was rather offended; and therefore checked her laugh. Miss Bingley warmly resented the indignity he had received, in an expostulation with her brother for talking such nonsense.

"I see your design, Bingley," said his friend. -- "You dislike an argument, and want to silence this."

"Perhaps I do. Arguments are too much like disputes. If you and Miss Bennet will defer yours till I am out of the room, I shall be very thankful; and then you may say whatever you like of me." [Pride and Prejudice, Vol. I, ch. 10]

Yours, &c., LC at 03:17 PM | Jane

June 14, 2004

Divining Jane Austen

This bit of entertainment news has been floating around for some time now:

King Arthur lass Keira Knightley suits up for another period piece. The English starlet has signed on for Universal's adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Knightley plays the eldest of five sisters living in 19th century England; their mother is determined they will marry wealthy suitors. Production begins in July. [E! Online]

Mr. Darcy has been cast as well, a Matthew Macfadyen.

Parlaying an Affinity for Austen Into an Unexpected Bestseller [Dinitia Smith, NYT, 6/14/04] - An interview with the author of The Jane Austen Book Club, something I very much wish to read.

Which reminds me. Over the weekend, while waiting for one of our movies to start, I overheard the people behind us talking. The man was telling his companion about Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility and how it was the basis for the movie, Bridget Jones's Diary, and that the name of the character, Mark Darcy, is exactly the name of the character from the book, Sense and Sensibility.

Scott had to restrain me from turning around. Let's just say the guy is fortunate to be walking around today.

Yours, &c., LC at 03:33 PM | Jane | Comments (12)

June 10, 2004

Flight of the Saudis

TIA now verifies flight of Saudis (Jean Heller, St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/04) From the beginning of the article:

Two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, with most of the nation's air traffic still grounded, a small jet landed at Tampa International Airport, picked up three young Saudi men and left.

The men, one of them thought to be a member of the Saudi royal family, were accompanied by a former FBI agent and a former Tampa police officer on the flight to Lexington, Ky.

The Saudis then took another flight out of the country. The two ex-officers returned to TIA a few hours later on the same plane.

For nearly three years, White House, aviation and law enforcement officials have insisted the flight never took place and have denied published reports and widespread Internet speculation about its purpose.

But now, at the request of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, TIA officials have confirmed that the flight did take place and have supplied details.

I probably wouldn't have posted this, but my eye was caught by the note following the article:

Times researcher Kitty Bennett [sic] contributed to this report.

So Kitty's finally done something with herself besides moon after officers in red coats. ;)

Yours, &c., LC at 04:54 PM | Jane , Politics | Comments (1)

June 04, 2004


Pemberley, a condo community in Utah. - Choice promotional lines include: "PEMBERLEY is super-size attached garages." Floorplans include the bennett (sic), the meryton, the collins and the wickham. Surely the collins floorplan will have a window facing the road so nosy residents can espy the comings and goings of their condescending affluent neighbors. (via Sick & Wicked)

Sunset in Manhattan - Gorgeous photo, accompanied by a brief astronomy lesson. See if you can find the Empire State Building.

Noah Wyle IS...The Librarian - The librarian-as-action-hero, in a TNT television movie to debut later this year. Treasures such as the Golden Fleece and the Ark of the Covenant lie within the inner catacombs of the New York Public Library. (What do you mean, which branch. The one with the lions!) (via LTR)

American Journalism Review article about political blogging.

In the Virtual Stacks, Pirated Books Find Eager Thumbs [Sandeep Junnakar, NYT, Circuits, 6/3/04]

Yours, &c., LC at 05:29 PM | Blogos , Jane , Librariana , Sundries | Comments (1)

March 24, 2004

Passing the Hat

If you love Jane Austen, it's quite possible that you also enjoy the society of other Janeites. Pemberley is a labor of love, managed by volunteers who do everything from the design to the maintenance to the monitoring of the discussion boards. The site gets between 7-10 million hits a month and over 140,000 unique visitors representing traffic from 132 countries.

This source of so much happiness is available for free, but the cost of maintaining such a quality website on a reliable server is not. No one's asked me to say anything, but I'm mentioning this here because I'm a big fan of Pemberley and an even bigger fan of the folks who devote their time and energy to such a wonderful endeavor. So please, please donate!

Yours, &c., LC at 04:39 PM | Internet & Tech , Jane | TrackBack (0)

Gothic Hangovers

Now that I've finally got an unabridged copy of Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho, this drinking game from Busy Nothings will come in handy. [via Austen-tatious]

Yours, &c., LC at 03:51 PM | Jane , Sundries | TrackBack (0)

"I Dated Jane Austin"

The writer T. Corraghessan Boyle has written "I Dated Jane Austin", a story with accompanying art by Sophie Dutertre.

[Discovered via Pemberley]

Yours, &c., LC at 03:36 PM | Jane , Writing & Language | TrackBack (0)

March 18, 2004

Strange Bedfellows

Maureen Dowd's latest column, entitled "Pride and Prejudice," draws apt, yet cringe-inducing comparisons between the presidential candidates and Jane Austen's characters. John Kerry is Pride, akin to Mr. Collins, whose wife is all "condescension" like Lady Catherine. President B___ is Prejudice: "Like Miss Bennet, who irrationally arranged the facts to fit her initial negative assessment of Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bush irrationally arranges the facts to fit his initial assessment that 9/11 justified blowing off the U.N. and some close allies to invade Iraq."

But Lizzy realizes how blind she has been. B___ will never admit he was wrong.

Having just finished Reading Lolita in Tehran, a memoir that intertwines the literary and the political, I appreciate Dowd's references to Austen. And yet I wish she had left our sparkling dear Jane out of this muck.

January 27, 2004

Jane Austen, Public Theologian

Peter J. Leithart's titled article appears in the January issue of First Things, the Journal of Religion and Public Life. (First Things 139 (January 2004): 28-38)

Yours, &c., LC at 10:00 AM | Jane | TrackBack (0)

December 16, 2003

Jane Austen (228)

A holiday for Austen fans everywhere - the birth of Our Dear Jane.

Yours, &c., LC at 08:58 AM | Jane | TrackBack (0)

October 21, 2003

Jane Austen Portrait Authenticated

Not much in the way of details to provide, I'm afraid. The Times, the British paper, only provides the article online to paid subscribers. More enlightened papers, such as the New York Times or Washington Post, at least offer free registration. Not that I'm really so keen on having to give them my personal information, but at least articles are available online for a limited time before moving into fee-based archives and news databases.

Here's the citation info: "My dear, it's a matter of dress sense and sensibility" - Jack Malvern, The Times, 10/17/2003.

The Jane Austen Society of Australia (JASA) offers a page of Jane portraits. The Rice portrait is the recently authenticated painting, which shows Jane at fifteen years of age.

Hopefully I'll be able to post a link when some other newspaper is willing to entertain a wider audience for the information.

Addendum: See here for an archived BBC article.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:54 PM | Jane | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 15, 2003

"You'll ruin him, Colin!"

Apparently when Colin Firth was offered the role of Mr. Darcy, his women friends urged him not to take it, telling him "'you'll ruin it forever, Colin. Mr Darcy is supposed to be sexy'."

Did you know that the original script called for Colin to dive into the lake au naturale? But regulations did not permit Colin to dive into the actual lake, so it's a stuntman doing the actual diving, and Colin's swimming about in some studio lake. But it's definitely all Colin when he emerges from the water in his wet shirt and breeches. Not sexy, not at all.

Yes, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy was such a mistake. In fact, I should watch Pride & Prejudice again, to thoroughly examine how Colin simply ruins Mr. Darcy as one of the great literary hearthrobs of all time.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:12 AM | Film/TV , Jane | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

September 30, 2003

Hawking Miss Austen

The Sally Lunn Tearoom in Bath now offers blends of teas and coffees that were supposed to be popular in Jane Austen's time. The proprietor has patented this line of beverages, using the Austen name. Naturally, a tempest is brewing in teacups all over England. [via Austen-tatious]

Addendum: A more detailed article in The Telegraph.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:31 PM | Jane | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

September 10, 2003

Happy Birthday, Mr. Darcy


That is, it's Colin Firth's birthday.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:51 PM | Film/TV , Jane , Sundries | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 30, 2003

DragonCon 'Aught Three: Day 1

This year's con is a spectacular treat, and perhaps one of the advantages of living down here again. The few that I've attended up north were puny in size and narrow in focus (horror, more Scott's hurrah than mine). Upon reading the program schedule, I marveled at just how much Anne McCaffrey is doing - at the age of 77, the woman hardly travels anymore - and she's published 78 works, which doesn't account for the translations in 22(?) languages, including Arabic, and soon Thai (in her Q&A she mentioned how the Thais have previously pirated her works, which is typical practice, I'm afraid, and yes, I'm freely slandering my native heritage. The Land of Smiles, among other Asian nations, is also the Land of Flagrant International Copyright Violations.)

Then I realized - she and her son, Todd McCaffrey, are publishing the next Pern volume, Dragon's Kin (out Nov. 25 in the US) under joint authorship, and Todd is completing a new work, Dragonsblood, on his own. The torch is being passed, and she notes that it is stipulated in her will that only he and her daughter Georgeanne are allowed to write any future works set in the universes she has created. Whether that includes their involvement with coauthors wasn't mentioned. Anyway, so my crass speculation as to her appearance at this year's con is to promote the new work, but also to Impress the fans to the new authorship. As much as I love the worlds of Pern, &c., as nice and knowledgable a guy as Todd McCaffrey is on the panels in which I've seen him, I really, really hope they don't bollocks things up.

But I'm sure it will all be fine. (holding her nose and taking the leap of faith between)

Anne told her favorite joke to close out the Q&A, which was held after she and Todd did a reading of the prologue and chapter seven from Dragon's Kin (brief, non-spoiler review - it reveals more about watchweyrs, and I can't wait to read it. I keep hoping I'll win one of the galley copies being raffled during the con, but we'll see.) Anyway, I'll try not to louse up the retelling:

A fly finds a sweet, delectable mound of horseshit and happily munches away. After a time, hearing some approaching noise, she realizes it's time to move on, but she's very full after such fine feasting. She spies a nearby pitchfork and climbs up the tines, the plan being to glide from the top of the handle to her next destination. The noise grows ever louder, and she finally reaches the top. But instead of gliding away, she falls straight down to the ground. The moral of the story?

Don't fly off the handle when you're full of horseshit.

Lady Crumpet (of Pern)'s Schedule

9:30-11:00 am Dropping off Scott's books for his office, waiting in line to pick up our convention badges, good for all four days. Why is the line so much longer than that for merely waltzing in that morning and breezing through the same-day purchase line? Of course, I could have picked up my badge last night, but perhaps that might have been a tad overeager. Plenty of stormtroopers, Jedis, Klingons, and aliens whose provenance I can't recognize milling about, and faux firelizards perched on shoulders. There's a woman with a Harry Potter scar in completely the wrong place, and a really convincing-looking Hagrid as well.

11:00 am - 12:45 pm Badges in hand, we grab a bit of breakfast in Peachtree Center and pore over the program to plan our schedules. Cries of "Who are these people?" from the non-con people are heard. The geeks have inherited downtown Atlanta, and we are not-so-meek in the safety of numbers. I rather suspect that the fully obscuring costumes and realistic laser rifles and sheathed blades would not fly in security-jittered New York. I'm just another girl in a cute checkered shirt and jeans and her bright blue Pumas, lugging a big flowery bag containing all three volumes of the Harper Hall trilogy and Todd McCaffrey's bio of his mother.

1:00 pm The opening of Weyrfest, the Pern programming track. Very nice people, lots of attendees because of Anne's appearance at the con. A bit much on personal info and in-jokes when only the schedule was discussed, and that was already in the paper program. For this I am missing James Marsters, gorgeous Spike of Buffy fame? I guess I could have walked out, but fortunately there was a free raffle for galley copies of Dragon's Kin. Didn't win, but I may still have a chance later.

2:30 pm Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey's reading from Dragon's Kin and their Q&A. I take lots of pictures which I'll still have to crop. Anne has a great smile and reading voice. Near the end, I venture a question: Were her children interested in her works growing up? Not surprisingly, they had to come around and be old enough to read the books. And of course, she was their mother first, author second, though when it was her writing time, the nanny or other caretaker had the charge of the children. Todd mentioned as how he was a teenager when he had finished his Heinlein and was looking for something else to read, and got hooked in by "Weyr Search." Her husband at the time told her she wouldn't ever make enough money to pay the phone bill, but she was determined, and was able to send all of her children to college and pay the phone bill. Her favorite tv show currently is Stargate, and mentioned how one of the actors would make the perfect F'lar.

4:00 pm That Vision Thing: Cordelia Dissected - a panel convened to discuss Cordelia's development as a character since Buffy and to bemoan her shoddy situation - left, indefinitely, in a coma. The one bit of useful information I got was that Charisma Carpenter didn't quit, she was fired, though no one talked about the circumstances or how they knew this information. So with Carpenter gone, Cordy is left without real resolution, which is a shitty thing to do to a core character, especially since we've had to put up with character arcs I couldn't care less about - Gunn and Fred and even Wesley. And then having to sit through Cordelia and Connor in "Rain of Ick" - I mean, come on! One person in the audience put it best - the last season has been a "buttload of badly." I could have done without the one guy braying inarticulately about how Angel has ripped material from X-Men. The one panelist who rather dominated the discussion kept talking about "fan wanking" and how the show's writers were always "blowing up the Death Star offscreen." I agreed for the most part, but I could have done without all the variations on wanking. At times I wondered if I should have been at the session with George Takei (Sulu of Star Trek) especially when Braying Comic Book Guy had the floor. Have got to sit near door in the future. Too much is going on this weekend to put up with someone else's wanking.

5:30 pm McCaffrey Trivia, hosted by the writer Jody Lynn Nye. Tough questions, though I felt rather stupid when I couldn't name the Rowan's full true name - Angharad Gwyn Raven, damn damn damn. Of course, I could have been the woman who correctly named Pride and Prejudice as the novel certain characters were reading in one of Anne's books, but then couldn't name the author of said novel. *palpitations* The whole room was aghast - hello, it's only OUR DEAR JANE AUSTEN! She tried to make allowances by confessing that she was French, but Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ! I'm a stupid American, but even I know Flaubert wrote Madame Bovary (and have even finally read it). Still didn't win a galley copy. Feh.

6:30-7:00 pm More panels I could have gone to, but Scott and I met up for a quick run through the Dealer's Room and Exhibit Room and then dinner at Azio's. Suddenly felt unwell, but better now in the comforts of home. Really ought to entertain prospect of sleep.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:46 AM | Jane , Slice o' Life | Comments (2)

August 14, 2003

Get Your Jane On

I am all astonishment! The Smithsonian is offering a day-long seminar entitled "Jane Austen's Life, Times, and Literature" on November 6. The seminar even includes a Regency-style luncheon. Wow. I am sorely tempted.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:54 PM | Jane | Comments (1)

August 13, 2003

Not Everyone's Dear Jane

The other night, after Scott's defense, I joined him and his colleagues at a local watering hole. At some point it came up that one of the women in the party adored Colin Firth after seeing Bridget Jones, but had not seen him in Pride & Prejudice. I strongly encouraged her to see it, explaining that BJD is a modernization of the P&P story.

However, another young woman in the group, one of the first-year students, immediately spoke up and declared how she couldn't stand Jane Austen, something along the lines of that she "just didn't get it." (Clearly.) The rest of the table, knowing my admiration of Jane, were highly amused and spoiling for a fight. But I simply shrugged and redirected the conversation. I mean, what could I say to someone who seemed so convinced? "How sad for you" was all I could think.

I know not everyone cares for Jane. To each their own, &c. However, I did feel the tiniest bit affronted, feeling not just that one of my favorite authors had been dismissed, but my partiality for her as well.

But it's not as though I haven't observed the same feeling in others - people are protective of their tastes and can feel defensive when such are criticized. That doesn't mean we shouldn't express our opinions, but we shouldn't be surprised if they are challenged, nor should we care or have to change our minds. Hopefully there is an interesting exchange in the conversation, rather than injured feelings. Although if the other person is a stubborn contrarian, the kind who can't or won't consider any of your arguments and has to rule the point, as it were, then it's fine to secretly think "Oh shut up already, you stupid prat/cow." Some battles aren't worth the effort.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:06 AM | Jane | Comments (4)

July 27, 2003

Weekend at Camp Pemberley

First, a brief mention of the last day of work, seeing as I was so busy wrapping things up I didn't have any time to blog (ha - so much for loafing idly). Zeebah was a dear, taking me to lunch at the Scandinavia House on Park Ave., where they have a lovely cafe and yummy toasted sandwiches. We were very good about not shedding tears at the office, but that's because we shall most definitely meet again before the big move. In between disposing of old papers (why, why do I hold onto such rubbish?) and clearing out the electronic in-box, I ran around like a headless chicken making sure the Tech Services librarian was comfortable using OCLC's CatMe and our local catalog software - understandably, since she wasn't using the sundry cataloging resources on a daily basis like me, I had to give her a refresher tutorial. I believe I was most patient, not at all snide or flip, but my forbearance was wearing thin by the end, that's for sure. There was also a chocolate cake, and the Asst. Head Librarian and the ILL clerk were so sweet as to give me parting gifts (doh! I need to send thank you notes). The job wasn't ideal, but having a few good coworkers who made me grin and giggle made the daily grind worth some groans.

Now for the long weekend - allow me to me preface the following by mentioning that this city girl has never been to camp - although I did, however, go on summer vacations with the family, which is more than what the other kids I knew growing up in NYC got to do.

The Pemberley annual meeting took place in Craigville, a tiny beach town on Cape Cod. It was so lovely to put names and faces together. I spent the night before on the Isle of Staten, to stay with a fellow denizen who so kindly offered me a ride in her barouche. I rode the ferry, toting my bags - a perfect cool night (once the sweat of the humid evening dried away), a sumptuous view of lower Manhattan, the city lights serving as a beacon in the distance. We stayed up late while she packed - the girlish gaiety had already begun.

The drive out of the city was remarkably calm. Connecticut proved to be a bit of a mud wallow, with accidents here and there. Hint: The Merrick parkway is quite lovely and a smooth go, provided no accidents lurk there. We even saw a doe by the side of the road. The ride to the Cape was just lovely - breezy and sunny, a glorious summer day.

In Craigville, we had a whole lodge to ourselves, numbering somewhere between thirty and fifty ladies. There was a cornucopia of women-food - all sorts of snacks and drinks (plenty of chocolate, to be sure!). I shared a room with four other gals - Jen, another Jen, Karen and Terese. With all the windows open we had magnificent views of the water and caught the sea breeze. I wouldn't mind having to summer in a nice cottage on Cape Cod, what hardship that would be.

How lovely to spend a weekend with good friends, old and new, who really get each other and all that is wonderful about Jane Austen. At any given moment ladies could be found watching one of the film adaptations (I raced in to catch the end of Persuasion), reading one of the novels, bonding over how they discovered the bewitching borders of Pemberley, taking little trips here and there. Jen and I decided the water was too lovely to simply dip our feet, so we managed to find flattering bathing gowns and get some of the others to accompany us.

The water was calm and gentle. This being my first beach trip of the year, I ran down the sand like a kid and plunged headfirst into the water. We swam out to a floating deck and climbed up to soak up some sun. I don't usually swim out past where I can stand, nor do I aim for getting tan, that being so out of fashion these days. But it was so nice to have the water all around, to see a seagull dive into the sea and come up with a gleaming silver fish, to chat with some ladies and brainstorm for next year's gathering. I felt like a sea otter, rolling and dipping, merrily flipping my feet, paddling about in the saltwater. Yes, to quote Elizabeth Bennet, I was excessively diverted.

The food at the dining hall was definitely camp cuisine. Some of us went out for seafood - I had a lobster, shrimp and scallop pie, fairly tasty. Other side trips were in order - at Four Seas, I had their famous cranberry sherbet, and also sampled the black raspberry ice cream and raspberry sorbet. A trip to the Isaiah Thomas bookstore yielded a treasure trove of pulp Philip K. Dick paperbacks; I hope a certain book is still there next year, as I would like to get it then. Also took in a bit of history, checking out one of the local historical museums, where we saw lovely bits of needlework and portraiture, and items like George Washington's and John Hancock's John Hancock (yes, I'm already wearing out the expression).

A long, lovely weekend. Our group is full of talented, accomplished ladies - for our entertainment some staged Pride & Prejudice, the musical - I could hardly breathe for laughing. We also watched one of the Emma adaptations, Rocky Horror-style - more opportunities for laughter - and we are sure-aimed with our water guns.

Cheery, teary goodbyes at the end as people went back to their daily lives. Jen and I dropped off some gals in Providence, then wended our way back home. Caught the ferry from Connecticut, then Jen was so kind as to drop me off at my abode. Now to develop the pictures!

Yours, &c., LC at 02:50 PM | Jane

June 16, 2003


For those fans of Joyce's Ulysses, Happy Bloomsday! Diehards can attend a marathon reading tonight: Bloomsday on Broadway XXII.

However, yours truly shall spend this evening in the company of Our Dear Jane, courtesy of A.A. Milne. There's a benefit reading tonight of Miss Elizabeth Bennet, Milne's dramatization of Pride & Prejudice.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:41 PM | Jane , Writing & Language | Comments (1)