We were very pleased when a novel inspired by Jane Austen’s fourth daughter in Pride and Prejudice crossed our path. What Kitty Did Next is a continuation, as such, of one of the five Bennet sisters after the close of the classic novel, whose heroine Elizabeth receives most of the praise from her father and a marriage to Mr. Darcy of Pembeley in the end. Her younger sister Catherine on the other hand, or Kitty as she is called by her family, only earns put-downs and threats from her father after her involvement in her younger sister Lydia’s infamous elopement with Mr. Wickham. Accused of being silly and ignorant, what could Kitty do to regain her family’s trust, raise her self-esteem and make herself marriageable? From the title of the book, my expectations were high. How would Kablean turn the floundering duckling of Longbourn into a swan?
Much of the anticipation for the reader is generated by Kitty’s past behavior in Pride and Prejudice. For those who have not read the original, Kablean gives us ample background and character backstory.
Kitty, meanwhile, was just Kitty. A docile child, she had trailed after her adored eldest sisters but they, like many older siblings, had not delighted in her presence and had sent her off to play with the younger ones. Only sickness and prolonged periods of enforced rest had brought Jane, and occasionally Elizabeth, to her bedside, and when she had fully recovered her health Lydia had so far inserted herself as her mother’s favourite that it had seemed obvious that she should follow in her younger sister’s wake and share all the delights and comforts bestowed upon her. Neither commanding nor being the centre of attention, Kitty had become more adept at observing than doing and, until the events of the previous year, had not questioned this order of things. Chapter 6
Jane Austen is indeed everywhere on the Internet. Thanks to great blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger and Typepad available today, there are numerous blogs honoring our favorite author to choose from. It seems like there is a continual stream of Jane Austen related posts in my Google Reader, far more than I can every read, but satisfying all the same.
Here is a list of some of my favorite Jane Austen blogs. My criteria was that the blog should be based on Jane Austen or her characters and have been active in the last two months. You can find a full list to links to Jane Austen blog by following this link.
Jane Austen Blogs
- Austen Inspired Fan Fiction by Mary Simonsen
- Austenacious by Miss Osborne and Mrs. Fitzpatrick
- AustenBlog by Magsl
- Austenised by Anna
- Austenesque Reviews by Meredith Esparza
- Austenonly by Julie Wakefield
- Austenprose by Laurel Ann
- Becoming Jane Austen Fansite by Icha and Rachel
- Fans of Jane by Natasha Zwick
- JaneAusten.nl by Karin
- Janetility by Jane Rubino and Catlen Rublino Bradway
- Austen Authors by Sharon Lathan and Abigail Reynolds
- Jane Austen’s World by Vic
- Austen Inspirations by Susan Jane
- At Pemberley by Kals
- First Impressions by Alexa Adams
- Jane Austen Addict by Bloggin BB
- Jane Austen Addict Blog by Laurie Viera Rigler
- Jane Austen em Português by Raquel
- Jane Austen Film Club by Jenny Allworthy
- Jane Austen in Vermont by Deb Barnum
- Jane Austen Prequels and Sequels by Sofia C.
- Jane Austen Sequels by Jane Odiwe
- Jane Austen Sequel Examiner by Kelly Yanke Deltner
- Jane Austen Society of Brazil Blog by Adriana Zardini
- Jane Austen Today by Vic
- My Jane Austen Book Club by Maria
- My Love of Jane Austen by Luthien84
- Pemberley Couture by Anna Kristine
- Sharp Elves Society by Arnie Perlstein
- Stitching with Jane Austen by The Sample Girl
- The Bennet Sisters by Jenni Duke
- The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen Flynn
- The Little White Attic by Lynnae
- The Secret Dreamworld of a Jane Austen Fan by Aurora
Chances are, I have overlooked someone – so my apologies in advance. Please contact me if you would like me to include your Jane Austen related blog on my list.
A Grand Austenesque Book Giveaway!
In celebration, and a thank you to all of the hardworking Jane Austen bloggers out there, I am offering a grand Austenesque book giveaway. Please leave a comment by midnight December 06, 2010 stating your top five favorite Jane Austen blogs and you will qualify to enter a drawing for one copy from the following list of ten Jane Austen inspired books available for giveaway (one copy per person, ten winners in total). Winners announced on December 07, 2010. Shipment to the US and Canadian addresses only.
- Old Friends and New Fancies, by Sybil G. Brinton
- Murder at Mansfield Park, by Lynn Shepherd
- Dancing with Mr. Darcy, edited by Sarah Waters
- Searching for Pemberley, by Mary Simonsen
- Jane and the Damned, by Janet Mullany
- The Mischief of the Mistletoe, by Lauren Willig
- Willoughby’s Return, by Jane Odiwe
- Murder on the Bride’s Side, by Tracy Kiely
- The Intrigue at Highbury, by Carrie Bebris
- Lydia Bennet’s Story, by Jane Odiwe
Good luck! Thanks for your comments.
© 2007 – 2010 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose
I saw the new movie Julie & Julia this weekend and loved it. The movie follows the real life story of Julie Powell a young woman working as a drone in a government job in New York by day and cooking adventuress by night. Inspired by her favorite chef Julia Child, she embarks on attempting all 524 recipes from Julia’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 365 days. The task seems monumental and that is the hook. The best part, however, was that she wrote about the entire experience daily on her blog The Julie/Julia Project, and later turned her amazing experience into the bestselling book Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. This book evolved into the movie Julie & Julia by writer/director Nora Ephron who brilliantly combined Julia Child’s own struggles becoming a chef from her book My Life in France. Each book reveals the story of two ladies adrift in life, looking for direction and passion, who both turn to cooking and find their true calling. Amy Adams and Meryl Streep portray Julie & Julia respectively with great success. Streep is particularly amazing in capturing the distinctly exuberant personality and trilling voice of one of the most famous early television personalities and cooking icons in the world.
What touched me most about the story was the parallel lives of Julie and Julia, and how two smart, funny and ambitious ladies find their bliss by doing what they love most. This concept is by no means new to me. Following your bliss has been in the popular lexicon for years, so much so, that I have begun to resent it whenever it pops into a conversation with family and friends who want to give me advice on my life’s direction. I must confess that I have followed my bliss across hill and dale for many years with variable degrees of success and failure. In my own defense, it has been my closest friend and my recipe for happiness, though it has brought little money and no fame. To all nay sayers who do not believe in following your dreams, I will only add “Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does.”
Blogging about Jane Austen is a joy, but like all great challenges it is the journey and not the end result that is the reward. Julie’s adventure in cooking, blogging and ultimately as a published author is further evidence of this philosophy. She had her daily successes and failures in the kitchen and was at several points ready to quit, but she didn’t. Jane Austen wrote and rewrote for years, submitting manuscripts that were rejected or never published before Sense and Sensibility was accepted in 1811. She chose, in an era of few opportunities for women outside of domestic life, not to marry and to write instead. She too followed her bliss. If it made her truly happy, we will most likely never know. Money was not her prime objective in writing, though it was most welcome. Julie Powell and Julia Child may not have chosen their bliss for pecuniary emolument either, but like Jane Austen it certainly brought them fame, and I hope a little happiness.