Austenprose Celebrates Second Anniversary – What Would Dear Jane Say?

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“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours,

and laugh at them in our turn?”

Another year in the Austen blogosphere has passed and I’m still here musing and muddling about on my favorite author and other related Regency folly and nonsense! Milestones are a great time to look back and reflect on what I really have been blabbering about, who was hot, and not, and what you all enjoyed the most. So here goes. 

Top 10 most popular posts 

  1. Pride and Prejudice: Which Mr. Darcy Has the Noble Mien for You? 
  2. Masterpiece’s Wuthering Heights Succumbs to a Case of Bad Parenting 
  3. Zombies and Vampires and Jane Austen, Oh My! Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is Haute! 
  4. Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, by Amanda Grange – Preview 
  5. Preview: BBC One’s Emma staring Romola Garai Begins on Sunday 
  6. Lost in Austen: Review of Episode Four: Amanda Fixes Things at Warp Speed! 
  7. Lost in Austen: Review of Episode Three: Droolgate as Darcy Does the Dip 
  8. Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, by Sharon Lathan: The Sunday Salon Review 
  9. Jane Austen Short Story Award 2009 Winners Announced 
  10. Little Dorrit Recap & Review of Episode Two on Masterpiece Classic

This is a diverse mix of posts indeed as interest is all over the Austen hill and dale, and some not even in her neighborhood. It represents what was in the news, on our minds and haute in the media and culture for the past year. Some I expected, others are a complete surprise.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that many, many people are still fascinated by top hottie Mr. Darcy. He eclipsed all other posts four times over. In my mind, this proves that he is indeed a literary and pop culture icon.

The balance of posts were topical items. Controversary is still King. The review of Wuthering Heights proved that if you express your opinion decidedly and make a fool out of yourself, people will flock to watch you squirm in embarrassment. I hope that the Brontë community will forgive me for trying to apply Austen logic to a Victorian tale of craziness.

Vampires and zombies arrived at our local bookstores this year stretching Austen in totally new directions. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was the breakout surprise. Who ‘da thought a zombie and Austen mash-up would make an international best selling novel and launch a new book genre – literary rip offs – opening  the flood gates for, yes, Austen and vampires?  We were all aflutter to read Mr. Darcy, Vampyre and snapped that one up too. Hope the author made a ton of money since that appeared to be the prime objective. Another book that caused bus accident gawking was Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One. I will let other pens dwell on the “why,” but I have sneaking suspicion that the author is dancing all the way to the bank too.

Two new Austen inspired mini-series hit the airwaves in the UK and US. Lost in Austen was the biggest surprise hit and the new Sandy Welch adaptation of Emma that premiered in the UK last month had tongues wagging.

Last and pleasingly last, the Jane Austen Short Story Award garnered more interest than anticipated. It is gratifying to think that new short stories inspired by Jane Austen piqued Googling and readers landed on my blog. 

The rest of data is just icing, but of interest in an Austen cultural enlightening kind of way. It is a small example of who Janeites are, and why we love Jane Austen.

Top 5 most popular book reviews

  1. Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, by Sharon Lathan: The Sunday Salon Review 
  2. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Jane Austen Ate Our Brain Long Ago: The Sunday Salon Review
  3. Darcy’s Passions: Pride and Prejudice Retold Through His Eyes: A Novel, by Regina Jeffers: The Sunday Salon Review
  4. The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy, A Novel by Maya Slater – A Review
  5. Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, by Amanda Grange – A Review

I reviewed 59 books in the last year! Gulp – that’s a lot of Jane and her scions.

Top 5 most popular search terms

  1. Elliot Cowan
  2. Matthew Macfadyen
  3. David Rintoul
  4. Northanger Abbey
  5. Mr Darcy Vampyre

What? No Colin Firth? Abomniable.

Top 10 clicks to other sites

  1. Jane Austen Today
  2. BBC official Emma page
  3. Which Austen Heroine are You Quiz?
  4. Everything Austen Challenge at Stephanie’s Written Word 
  5. PBS Masterpiece website
  6. Jane Austen’s World
  7. Republic of Pemberley
  8. AustenBlog
  9. Naxos AudioBooks
  10. Enchanted Serenity of Period Films

Who you all want to visit – says a lot about me too!

Top 10 referrers

  1. Jane Austen Today
  2. Jane Austen’s World
  3. Molland’s Circulating Library
  4. The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide
  5. AustenBlog
  6. Elegant Extracts
  7. Becky’s Book Reviews
  8. Reading, Working, Writing, Playing
  9. Emma Adaptations
  10. Marie Antoinete’s Gossip Guide

A big thank you to fellow Janeite’s Vic (Ms Place) of Jane Austen’s World and my co-blogger at Jane Austen Today and Mags at AustenBlog. Two clever and witty ladies who keep me on my toes. Last, but first in my book – your 1,975 comments – all read and greatly enjoyed. Thanks to all for visiting my little corner of Austenland…

 where There is a monsterous deal of stupid quizzing, & common-place nonsense talked, but scarcely any wit.”

Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra, 21 April 1805

Austenprose on Twitter

Costume Parisien (1817)“Give a loose to your fancy, indulge your imagination in every possible flight which the subject will afford” Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 60 

Thanks to my co-blogger and technology savvy friend Vic of Jane Austen Today, I have signed up on Twitter as Austenprose. This could be addictive! I will endeavour to Tweet on Austen tidbits, quotes, news on Austen-esque books and anything a true Janeite might find ironic or enlightening in today’s world from Jane’s perspective. 

So, what would Jane Austen think of this form of instant communication? Since she was a devoted letter writer, I think that she would love it, and be addicted too.  Ain’t technology grand? 

Join Vic and I and Tweet about Jane! 

Cheers, Laurel Ann

The Excessively Diverting Blog Award – New Nominations

Excessively Diverting Blog AwardThank you Catherine Delors of Versailles and More blog for nominating Austenprose for the Excessively Diverting Blog Award presented by Jane Austen Today. We are honored and hope to continue to live up to the challenge. 

The aim of the Excessively Diverting Blog Award is to acknowledge writing excellence in the spirit of Jane Austen’s genius in amusing and delighting readers with her irony, humor, wit, and talent for keen observation. Recipients will uphold the highest standards in the art of the sparkling banter, witty repartee, and gentle reprove. This award was created by the blogging team of Jane Austen Today to acknowledge superior writing over the Internet and promote Jane Austen’s brilliance. 

Here are our 7 nominations: 

History Hoydens – This group of eleven historical romance writers have been “dishing the dirt on research” and entertaining us for years. Beautiful and thoroughly researched posts that never fail to surprise and amaze. 

Costume Drama Reviews – Judy offers great insights on all the costume drama’s that we can not get enough of. 

Elegant Extracts Blog – Teresa A. F. has admittedly been pretending to be Jane Austen since 1999. Author and humorist, this blog never fails to make us laugh at her creative musing and shenanigans. 

A Comfy Chair and a Good Book – Jeanette chats about, books, and more books with such energy that it is addictive. 

The Bluestocking Guide – Book reviews by “a partial, prejudiced and ignorant reader.”  Get all the latest in book reviews, book news, critical essays, and most importantly- book giveaways. Smart and sassy. 

Sophisticated Dorkiness – Don’t let the title fool you. Kim is one smart lady who loves books, journalism, geeky technology stuff, and sharing. Her 2009 Blog Improvement Project is brilliant. 

Jane Austen Sequels Blog – Talented author Jane Odiwe dazzles us with her musing on Jane Austen and her life, her own Austen sequels, and her stunning original Austen inspired art. So much fun under one blog! Who could wish for more? 

Congratulations recipients. Please claim your award by copying the HTML code of the Excessively Diverting Blog Award badge, posting it on your blog, listing the name of the person who nominated you, and linking to their blog. Then nominate seven (7) other blogs that you feel meet or exceed the standards set forth. Nominees may place the Excessively Diverting badge in their side bar and enjoy the appreciation of their fellow blogger for recognition of their talent.  

Cheers, Laurel Ann

Austen Tattler: News and Gossip around the Blogosphere

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“All that she wants is gossip, and she only likes me now because I supply it.” Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 31

Jane Austen around the blogosphere for the week of February 1st

Hot News of the week

Definitely the upcoming release of the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies which was taken the Internet by deathly storm prompting the publisher Quirk Books to move up the release date. You can read my first thoughts about it at Jane Austen Today, this week on the reaction, and the controversy regarding the author’s attitude toward Janeites at AustenBlog.

Noteworthy

Jane Austen in the City of Bath, England is a lovely article with beautiful photos at Quillcards Blog

Get ready for Valentine’s Day with snarky Austen themed valentines at Elegant Extracts Blog.

Sense and Sensibility (2008) is being rebroadcast on Masterpiece Classic on Sundays Feb 1st & 8th. You can catch up on the first episode by reading the synopsis of episode one at the Masterpiece offical site and read reviews at Jane Austen’s World and here at Austenprose. Tune in to PBS this Sunday for the conclusion.

The Excessively Diverting Blog Award recognizes seven writers of note on the Internet presented by the Jane Austen Today blogging team.

Over at Risky Regencies indulge in a little escapsism with Highwayman of the High Seas: The Romance of the Smugler by Julia Justiss. Everyone loves a naughty pirate, yo ho!

Of Books and Bicycles is reading Claire Tomalin’s biography Jane Austen: A Life and has some interesting thoughts on her insights.

Arti at Ripple Effects asks which Austen Heroine was Jane herself most like?

Entertainment

The Black Moth is available from GirleBooks for free. Ms Place (Vic) at Jane Austen Today and Jane Austen’s World is an ardent Heyer fan and tells us that this is one of Heyer’s first novels, and now ready for you to download and read for free from GirleBooks.

The roundup of upcoming Austen inspired books for February is available for your persual here at Austenprose

The DVD of Lost in Austen will be available for purchase in North America on April 14th.

British actress Ruby Bentall is truly an up and commer. I have recieved more hits on her name in the past month than any other Austen actress. More than Gwenyth or Kiera or Kate. No lie! You can read about her at my post Ruby Bentall – A Most Memorable Mary Bennet at Jane Austen Today.

Book Reviews

Until next week, happy Jane sighting.

Laurel Ann

The Austen Tattler: News & Gossip on the Blogosphere

“All that she wants is gossip, and she only likes me now because I supply it.”
Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 31

Around the blogosphere for the week of September 1st

The first reviews for Jane Odiwe’s Lydia Bennet’s Story are in, and honestly not a suprise!

Austen-esque author Marsha Altman is featured at Jane Austen Today and Jane Austen in Vermont discussing her new book The Darcys and the Bingleys published by Sourcebooks, and now available at bookstores.

If you are as excited as I am about the premiere of the movie Duchess, staring Austen actress Keira Knightley (Pride and Prejudice 2005), check out The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide to the 18th-century. This informative and slightly sardonic blog is like a gossip rag from the 18th-century but with a modern twist. I particularly enjoy the Tart of the Week posts, and the recent Hunk alert on Richard Brimsley Sheridan written as a hip singles ad. Jane Austen would have been amused!

Some people understand what makes a Jane Austen heroine tick, they just don’t want to be one! And then, a few days later they change their mind!

Austen-esque author Diana Birchall is interviewed about her two books currently in print, Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma and Mrs. Elton in America by Vic (Ms. Place) at Jane Austen’s World. Discover what makes Diana one of the most admired sequel authors in print, and where she got her wicked sense of humor from.

Join the Jane Austen Book Club Online as they read a novel a month. September is Emma month, so break out your copies and delve in to Highbury again!

Lost in Austen, the new time travel inspired slant on Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice was televised in the UK on September 3rd. The advance reviews have been mixed, to put it kindly. AustenBlog has all the scoop and updates, so check it out.

Do you know the 7 key elements to Jane Austen’s writing success? Romance writer Tina M. Russo does and explains it all for us in her clever an insightful post, What Would Jane Do?, at The Seekers blog. Enter a comment for a chance to win a copy of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict or The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen.

The Becoming Jane Fansite chose one of my favorite quotes from Emma for their quote of the week.

Austenprose is happy to announce a new weekly column entitled ‘An Austen Intern Reports In’ running on Saturdays until December from Virginia Claire Tharrington, the newly appointed intern for The Jane Austen Centre in Bath. This very lucky young Janeite will be sharing with us her weekly news and insights from Bath, England, the heart of Jane Austen’s world and the home of The Jane Austen Centre. Please return on Staurday, September 6th for her first installment as she shares with us how she turned her passion for Jane Austen into a once in a life time opportunity. Stay tuned for this very exciting Austen adventure. Woundn’t Catherine Morland be jealous?

Cheers to all, Laurel Ann

*Watercolour engraving by Thomas Rowlandson, Jealousy, The Rival (1787)

Vote for Your Favorite Becoming Jane Icon

“Witty and thrilling. Anne Hathaway is as bright and elegant as Jane Austen herself.” Karen Durbin, Elle Magazine 

Image of Becoming Jane IconMy co-blogger Ms. Place of Jane Austen Today has put together a wonderful icon contest for images created from the movie Becoming Jane. We have received several beautiful submissions and voting is open until March 5th. You can vote for one icon a day, and two lucky winners will receive a new DVD of the movie Becoming Jane (2007), staring Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen, and James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy. Check out the images here.

Image fo Becoming Jane poster (2007)Visit the official Becoming Jane DVD web site to learn about the story, view video clips, bonus material, picture gallery, reviews, Jane Austen quiz, and reading kit. You can read Ms. Place’s review of Becoming Jane at her Jane Austen’s World blog, and for the be-all, end-all compendium on all things Becoming Jane, check out Icha and Rachel’s fan blog, totally devoted to every tidbit of minutiae on the movie, the stars and other Austen stuff.

PBS to Connect Jane Austen Community

Illustration by Miroot Puttapipat, “Boxhill Picnic”, Emma, Chapter 44CONNECTION 

I congratulate you, my dear Harriet, with all my heart. This is an attachment which a woman may well feel pride in creating. This is a connection which offers nothing but good. It will give you every thing that you want — consideration, independence, a proper home — it will fix you in the centre of all your real friends, close to Hartfield and to me, and confirm our intimacy for ever. This, Harriet, is an alliance which can never raise a blush in either of us.” Emma Woodhouse, Emma, Chapter 9 

In Jane Austen’s 18th-century society, personal alliances fueled the social strata, connecting families in marriage, and in business. And so it continues today, as PBS reaches out to the Jane Austen community to promote its upcoming series The Complete Jane Austen, through its online guest blogger project Remotely Connected.

Eight Austen enthusiasts and authorities from the online community have been invited to write about each of the upcoming Jane Austen adaptations and a new biography being presented by Masterpiece Classic, beginning Sunday, January 13th with Persuasion, and concluding in April with Sense & Sensibility.

Uniting these eight unique Austen resources brings together a talented and diverse group of Janeites, who have created the most informative and lively web sites and blogs on the internet to honor and discuss their favorite author. Here is a list of the accomplished writers in order of their contribution to Remotely Connected, and their online entities.

Image of Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot, PBS presentation of Persuasion (2008)Victoire Sanborn (Ms. Place) of Jane Austen’s World: This blog brings Jane Austen and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th-century historical details. Enjoy thoroughly researched and enlightening posts about everything from netting a reticule to Jane Austen’s timeless insights. Her other blog Jane Austen Today explores how we see Jane Austen today through movies, print, sequels, web sites and modern day media. The talented and knowledgeable Ms. Place will be writing about Persuasion, which airs on Sunday, January 13, at 9:00 pm.

Image of Felicity Jones s Catherine Morland, Persuasion (2007)Heather Laurence of Solitary Elegance: This web site is a collection of educational and research resources relating to Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen’s often overlooked and underrated work. It also prominently features a beautiful collection of watercolor illustrations from all of Jane Austen’s novels by the renowned artist, C.E. Brock. Heather also shares her unique sense of humor, Jane Austen passions, and family exploits on her clever Gimletblog, (more fun than a poke in the eye with a stick). The accomplished and elegant Heather will be writing about her favorite novel, Northanger Abbey, which airs on Sunday, January 20, at 9:00 pm.

Image of Billie Pier as Fanny Price, Mansfield Park (2007)Lori Smith of Jane Austen Quote of the Day: This blog features daily wit and inspiration from Austen through quotes from her novels and letters, with such gems as “I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible” and “Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.”. Lori is a freelance writer and recent author of the lovely and favorably reviewed book, A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love and Faith. You can read the latest news about its release on her other blog, Following Austen. Lori’s sensitive and patience nature will serve her well when she writes about Mansfield Park, which airs on Sunday, January 27, at 9:00 pm.

Image of Olivia Williams as Jane Austen, in Miss Austen Regrets, (2008)Laurel Ann Nattress of Austenprose: My blog is a daily celebration of the brilliance of Jane Austen’s writing, including passages and quotes from her novels and letters, and focusing on her ability to write of the society in 19th-century rural England with keen observation, irony and wit. Also featured are vintage and contemporary illustrations from her novels. I am a life-long Austen devotee who now augments my passion by introducing others to the delights of Miss Austen as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble. I also co-blog with Ms. Place at Jane Austen Today. I will be writing about the new biopic, Miss Austen Regrets, which airs on Sunday, February 3, at 9:00 pm.

Image of Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet, in Pride & Prejudice, (1995)Myretta Robens of The Republic of Pemberley: As the co-creator of the pre-eminent Jane Austen site on the web, Myretta has an acclaimed and established history as an authority of our authoress, and  online communities. Author of two Regency era novels, Just Say Yes, and Once Upon A Sofa, you can read further about her accomplishments at her web site: Myretta Robens, Regency Romance. Myretta will be writing about her favorite novel Pride & Prejudice (1995), staring Jennifer Ehle & Colin Firth, which airs on three consecutive Sundays, February 10, 17 & 24, at 9:00 pm

Image of Kate Beckinsale as Emma Woodhouse, in Emma, (1996)Jessica Emerson (Janefan) of Austen-tatious: A Jane Austen fan blog, “marked by, or fond of, conspicuous or vainglorious and sometimes pretentious display of all things related to Jane Austen“, that is always light, entertaining and filled with news and personal insights about movies, books, print media and news around the web concerning Jane Austen. Jessica is a professional writer in the communications industry and an avid reader. Visit her other blog, The Bookworms Hideout, for her perspective on current book publications and the classics. Jessica will be writing about the adaptation of Emma (1996), staring Kate Beckinsale & Mark Strong, which airs on Sunday, March 23, at 9:00 pm.

Image of Charity Wakefield as Marianne Dashwood, in Sense & Sensibility, (2008)Laurie Vera Rigler of A Great Deal of Conversation: The Blog & Forum: Calling all Austen addicts, be prepared to (almost) satisfy your obsession at Laurie’s beautiful web site and blog, featuring conversation (blog & forum), passions (links), many charming views (videos) and information about her latest book, The Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. Laurie is a freelance book editor who teaches writing workshops, and is a popular guest blogger. Her vibrant comedic style and high energy will serve her well when she writes about Sense & Sensibility, one of Austen’s most moving and humorous novels, airing on two consecutive Sundays, March 30 & April 6, at 9:00 pm.

Image of Hattie Morhan as Elinor Dashwood, in Sense & Sensibility, (2008)Margaret Sullivan (Mags) of AustenBlog: A compendium of news about Jane Austen in popular culture, because (as she should be) …”She’s everywhere.” Mags’ unique wit and waggish voice will keep you laughing and shaking your head at the foibles of the news media, writers and movie makers who attempt to interpret Austen in their ‘own’ light. Her recent book, The Jane Austen Handbook: A Simple Yet Elegant Guide to Her World, received high praise within the industry and Austen community. Her other online accomplishments include web sites Mollands and Tilneys and Trap-doors. Mags will be writing about Sense & Sensibility, airing on two consecutive Sundays, March 30 & April 6, at 9:00 pm.

I am sure that you will join me in congratulating each of these talented and devoted Janeites, visit their sites and blogs, and bookmark the PBS blog Remotely Connected to have your share of the conversation after each adaptation airs.

(Post Script) Did you notice that each of the ladies personalities match the heroine of the novel/adaptation that they are writing about? Hah! I did. Present writer excluded since saying I was like Jane Austen would, – – like be so totally fer sure not true babe,  – – as if!

*Illustration by Niroot Puttapipat, “Pardon me – but will you be limited as to number – only three at once”, page 336, Folio Society, London, (2007)