Mailbox Monday: The Elusive Jane Austen Bobble-head

Jane Austen bobble-headFor years I seriously thought that the Jane Austen bobble-head was a Janeite myth. I had never seen one in person, only “read” about them in my online travels. I once saw one listed in an eBay auction that went for an exorbitant final bid. Who would pay that much for a toy???

It became my Jane Austen Holy Grail. The ultimate Jane Austen accessory to add to my collection. I had to have it, so I patiently waited and watched and won one last week on eBay. She arrive in my mailbox today! Myth busted – and she is quite fetching indeed.

So who made this charming figure and why are they not available for sale? Further research on the Internet revealed that Greenwood Publishing Group gave them away at the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) annual conference to publicize their mammoth edition of “All Things Austen” in 2005.

Now they can only be obtained second hand. The problem was, who the heck would want to give one up? Who indeed? Of all literary fans Janeites are quite passionate about their obsession.

So how did this beauty come to my attention? One advantage to having a blog about Jane Austen is that you can gush about her and her incredible mega-star-pop-culture status and people don’t think you’re nuts (well, only a little). I once listed the Jane Austen bobble-head on my Janeite Santa wish-list. It only took three years and six months for Santa to come through. (glad to know he is not entirely deaf to my whims) The seller actually alerted me to the auction and I was the winning bidder. Huzzah!

Jane now occupies a place of honor on my bookshelf right next to my complete set of Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen! *gloat*

Cheers, Laurel Ann

My Austen inspired Santa wish list

Illustration of vintage Christmas cardHAPPY HOLIDAYS 

Many happy returns of the holiday season to all my Janeite friends. I hope that you have wrapped up that last gift, trimmed the tree up right and dashed down a few hot buttered rum’s to get the season rolling! But before you get tucked up in your bed’s Christmas eve night, don’t forget to put out the milk and cookies for Santa, carrots for his reindeer, and post your holiday wish list prominently on the mantelpiece so he can’t miss it. Here’s a sneak peak at what my Jane Austen inspired wish list will entail. Let me know what your dream JA items are, or better yet, what landed under the tree!


Image of Jane Austen Regency World Magazine issue 25

Jane Austen Regency World Magazine: The ‘Light, bright and sparkling‘ bi-monthly glossy full-colour magazine published in the UK through the Jane Austen Centre in Bath. This one is very dear at $83.45 for six issues, but well worth every penny.

Image of The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen 6 Volume Set (1998)The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen (Six Volume Set), Oxford University Press (1998) This complete set of the novels of Jane Austen is now reissued as a boxed set with handsome new jackets. Using the definitive text established by R.W. Chapman, with later revisions by distinguished scholars, the set presents the most authoritative and comprehensive edition available – invaluable for students and enthusiasts of Jane Austen’s work. Each volume contains notes and appendices, and indexes of characters, and the set is illustrated with a charming selection of early nineteenth-century plates. $150.00, on sale for $47.25

Image of Bride & Prejudice, 2005Bride and Prejudice, DVD (2005) The very British sensibilities of Jane Austen are introduced to the exotic flavors of the Bollywood musical in this romantic comedy with songs from the director of Bend It Like Beckham, Gurinder Chadha. Lalita Bakshi (Aishwarya Rai) is the lovely and eligible daughter of her socially ambitious mother and father (Nadira Babbar and Anupam Kher). Mother and father want to be sure that Lalita, the most beautiful of their four daughters, settles down with a man worthy of her, but she has proven resistant to matchmaking, announcing that she will choose her own husband, and will choose him for love. $9.99

Image of Jane Austen coffee mugJane Austen coffee mug from Literary Luminaries. Caricature artist Mike Caplanis has captured the comic essence of our authoress perfectly. Wake up your morning senses and honour Jane Austen with a fragrant cup of earl gray tea with milk, the British way! $8.95

Image of Jane Austen Companion CD (1996)Jane Austen Companion CD, English String Orchestra (1996). London at the time of Jane Austen was one of the most exciting centers in all of Europe for music, and this was an era of great fertility of composers in general. Lucky Jane! Imagine publishing your second novel the same year that Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony receives its premiere. Or offering your fourth novel to the public near the time of the first performance of Schubert’s Fifth Symphony. The program highlights popular music from Austen’s time by Mendelssohn, Haydn, Fasch, J.C. Bach, Boyce, Schubert and others. I find the exclusion of chamber music a little odd here, though, since chamber music was the rage among the sort of gentlemen and women of the country about whom Austen wrote so well. (Gwendolyn Freed) $10.98

Image of a Jane Austen bobblehead figureAnd last but certainly not least, the perky but ever allusive Jane Austen bobble-head figure. It just might be a cultural myth. I did find one on eBay, but it was way, way bigger than my pocketbook. So Santa, if you pull this one off, I will never doubt you again. 

Wishing you all a great holiday.