Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Timelessness of Jane Austen


 with guest Debra Austen Marvin.

As I pen this post with my newly sharpened goose quill, I shall make a most glorious effort to pass along my appreciation—nay, my adoration—of all the joys brought to my life through the writings of Miss Jane Austen. Oh, how I yearn for a way to let her know…that she’d be worth about a gazillion bucks now!

If there was a period in the last two hundred years when Austen’s literature and the fascination about her had a low point, it must have been before her death. From that time, her literary star rose: stage plays, live readings, early radio shows and finally broadcast television and big-screen movies.  Well over seventy known film productions gave the English-speaking world Austen’s literature, and a moment when the BBC brought a certain aloof hero into iconic status.


Susie Dietze and I proving this Austen thing is real.
Now, back to those gazillion bucks in Jane’s virtual bank account. It’s impossible to comprehend the Austen-inspired items available (including action figures and Austen fonts) and the income generated by broadcast productions. I asked Laurel Ann Nattress, a well-known Austen aficionado to estimate the number of fan-fiction books out there beyond the hallowed shades of Pemberley. Two hundred? No, she thinks it’s more like a thousand, and she should know. She stays on top of it with her blog Austenprose. (One of many, many Austen fan blogs.)

You’ve all heard of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, right?  (and no, I don’t plan to see it. I shall be buying muslin instead.)




The Jane Austen Society is a world-wide organization hosting events and conferences, and their numbers continue to grow. How about an Austen tour of England? Multiple travel companies will take you to any spot she visited or lived, as well as the many settings used in television and movies. 


I asked the Seekers about their Austen habits. Missy Tippens, like so many, loves the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice. Of course she can’t count the number of times she’s seen it! Ruth Logan Herne watches it once a year whether she needs to or not. Julie Lessman goes for a different version; she and hubby have watched the Keira Knightly movie at least ten times. (I must tell you all how much I ardently adore watching Matthew MacFadyen cross that field at sunrise.) 


Tina Radcliffe, marches to a different fife and drum corps, and prefers Persuasion, showing her devotion by watching both versions. Often. Like minimal 20 times each. (“Both” versions means the 1995 and 2007 versions, in case you didn’t know. Older versions have really fallen into obscurity. Now you know, just in case someone asks, or “Austen” is a category when you finally get on Jeopardy.)

I bring all this up because I too have tossed my velvet, feathered turban into Austen-inspired fiction. Years ago, my Inkwell Inspirations blog-mates and I discussed novellas—a possible anthology. When we’d nearly settled on Austen, our sweet Anita Mae Draper reminded us she was far more comfortable with a western theme. Well, you can see where this went, thanks to WhiteFire Publishing.


Austen in Austin, Volume 1.

So why take a chance out in Austen…land, when hundreds, er, a thousand others have gone before us?


Mary Munoz (aka Mary Virginia Ginny Carmichael writing at times as Mary Jane Hathaway…) offered her take on Austen’s timelessness: “I think most people love the Regency clothes, the breeches, the riding boots, the neckties, the manners, the tea. But I love Miss Jane because she understood people. When I read Austen, I laugh and nod my head because I know people just like Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Wickham and Mr. Collins. She was a true study of the human heart and she could write a great romance, to boot. She wrote such perfectly imperfect characters that we want to BE Elizabeth Bennet or Emma Woodhouse, and love them even as they fail so spectacularly. We yearn for our own Mr. Darcy or Captain Wentworth even though they're too proud or have a hard time forgiving past hurts. How did she do it? My theory (supported by her hilarious letters to her sister) is that Miss Jane knew herself inside and out, all the bad with all the good. And through studying her own heart, she could write the funniest, most romantic, most devious, and most noble characters.”


Julie Klassen, who’s found amazing success with her Regency era stories says: “For me, it's Jane Austen's humor, which still makes us laugh today, and becomes more evident every time I re-read one of her novels.” 


Author Katherine Reay puts it this way: "Jane Austen is timeless simply because she pinpoints us with unerring accuracy. The details of our lives continue to alter, but human nature doesn't and that's her gift -- She knows us better than we know ourselves. And while it may make us squirm (looking at you, Emma), it never fails to delight."
Austin Capitol Building

Miss Matilda Pentwhistle, Fullerton town matriarch and master of the pianoforte says: “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” 


Now hold your fichu, Matilda. That’s a quote from Northanger Abbey. You can’t fool me! But what a segue.  Here’s our Austen in Austin novellas wherein we discover four heroines in historical Austin, TX, as they find love--Jane Austen style. Volume 1 includes:

If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn, based on Emma
A prideful matchmaker examines her own heart when her protégé falls for the wrong suitor.

Romantic Refinements by Anita Mae Draper, based on Sense and Sensibility
A misguided academy graduate spends the summer falling in love . . . twice.

One Word from You by Susanne Dietze, based on Pride and Prejudice
A down-on-her-luck journalist finds the story of her dreams, but her prejudice may cost her true love . . . and her career.

Alarmingly Charming by Debra E. Marvin, based on Northanger Abbey
A timid gothic dime-novel enthusiast tries to solve the mystery of a haunted cemetery and, even more shocking, why two equally charming suitors compete for her attentions.

And now I really must go, dear friends. Are you enamored by the timelessness of Jane Austen? 



Alarmingly Charming is available now!


Debra is generously offering two copies of Austen in Austin. One print and one ecopy. Seekerville will be throwing in an additional ecopy of Austen in Austen to one commenter who came dressed in anything Austen for their Profile Picture. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.


Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She’d like to live just a wee bit closer to her grandchildren, but is thankful that God is in control, that He chooses to bless us despite ourselves and that He has a sense of humor.

Other than writing light-hearted romances and gritty gothics, she has pretty normal obsessions: fabric, peanut butter, vacations, British dramas and whatever mystery series she’s currently reading. Visit her at debraemarvin.com, the Inkwell Inspirations Blog, @debraemarvin on twitter and Debra E Marvin on Facebook and Pinterest, but not her house because she usually has dirty dishes.


Amazon Author Page  


Facebook Author Page


Twitter 


Website  


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Group Blog- Inkwell Inspirations

155 comments :

  1. Oh, I am so excited about today, I've been getting ready for hours!

    Welcome Jane Austen. I mean Debra Marvin.

    Love, love, love the whole Austen in Austin collection. It sounds WONDERFUL!!!

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  2. My profile pix is Persuasion Circa 2007, for those cave dwellers who do not know.

    By the way, I forced myself to watch the Keira Knightly version of P and P this week. Matthew is hubba hubba. Those eyes, those freckles. Oh, my, gosh.

    Keira...meh.

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  3. Oh my gosh, Austen in Austin is such a fun idea! I know a goodly amount about present-day Austin but not much about 'those' days. Please include me in the drawing. And thanks for the post, Debra -- it brought lots of smiles.

    Nancy C

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  4. I'm so excited for this post! Heartiest congratulations to dear Deb. Her Alarmingly Charming is a delight.

    I'm overdue to watch P&P--either version. Love them both.

    Unlike Deb I will be watching Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. I found the book hilarious and I'll take Mr Darcy with a katana any time.

    See you in the morning!

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  5. I'll probably watch the movie as well. SHHHHHH!!!

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  6. I'm loathe to admit that I haven't watched any version of P&P.....I'm long overdue, I know! I'll have to see if my library carries the DVD. But I can say that thanks to Julie Klassen, I have a vast love for the Regency era! I've read almost every book except "Lady Maybe" & "The Painters Daughter", which I have a copy of on my shelf. She paints a portrait of this era that made me fall in love for all the reasons you said here, Regency clothes, the breeches, the riding boots, the neckties, the manners, the tea & so much more!! She's an incredible author that brings it to life :-)
    The only show I've watched that was similar was North & South. Oh my, very swoon-worthy & John Thornton the perfectly passionate hero! I may have to see if Netflix still features it, I'll need to reacquaint myself :-)
    Throw my name in the velvet feathered turban for a copy of Austen in Austin, thanks so much!!

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  7. Huge Jane Austen fan! Favorite is of course Pride & Prejudice with Persuasion as a close second. Colin Firth's version is a must at least once a year. The 2007 version of Persuasion's also a favorite. Both books are also a once a year read, at the very least. So excited for this and Austen in Austin sounds like fun! Thanks! Please put me in for the print copy.

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  8. Oh, North and South. Swooning as we speak. Oh, my!!!!!! Netflix does have North and South, Mansfield Park, A Death Comes to Pemberly (based on Austen) and Keira Knightly Pride and Prejudice. A days worth of fun!!

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  9. Really enjoyed your post! Great insights here. Excited about 'Austen in Austin!' I finally bought the entire Austen collection all in one book, along with the Colin Firth version of "Pride & Prejudice" on DVD. Thrilled, I can now watch without limitation when in the need of inspiration, whit, good company, or romance. I even enjoy the black and white version, and yes, that moment when he walks across the field at sunrise! Who cannot but find things to love in Keira's version, too?

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  10. Dear fe71c852-c009-11e5-853e-dbf288bc7c70 ,

    What do they call you for short?

    Yes that scene with him walking across the field was loooovely.

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  11. I can't wait to get a copy! Or have time to read it! What writer doesn't have some Austen spinoffs in their head? I got a few! :)

    I adore the Kiera Knightly version, of course I like the Firth Version but THE MUSIC! And the gazebo in the rain, and the field crossing, the beautiful cinematography!
    Of course, Firth watching Lizzy leaving Pemberly that first day....sigh.

    I actually like Persuasion more but both movies don't live up to it! Gah, the 2007 fishy kiss and the utter lack of one that shows any feeling whatsoever in the other is like the biggest wet blanket EVA!

    I couldn't get into Death Comes to Pemberly, they characters didn't act like the Austen characters. :(

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  12. What a fun post, Debra!! I'm so glad you shared with us.

    I agree about the humor and about how relatable Jane's characters are.

    I love the novella collection title! What a great way to blend genres. :)

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  13. I'd like to throw my hat in the ring for an e-copy!

    And yes, Austen :) I watched Sense and Sensibility just this weekend (because Alan Rickman. Sob.) Persuasion is my favourite, I read it once a year. I'd like to write some fiction based around it sometime.

    Next up I plan to re-read Northanger Abbey, it's been a while...

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  14. Oh, this is marvelous, Deb!!!!! First, I'm so delighted that you're here!!!! Second, this is marvelous!!!!

    Did I already mention that????? :)

    I am running, not walking to buy this collection right now. Okay, mission accomplished. And it says the paperback is out of stock.....

    But I grabbed the Kindle version happily, so my Kindle will thank me! And my pic is of my favorite P&P version, I can't even explain how I love this movie the way I do!

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  15. Yay, Deb - so glad you're at Seekerville today!

    My favorite is the 1995 version of Sense & Sensibility. In fact, I like S&S so much, that when we were discussing which heroines to choose, I picked Marianne Dashwood although I'm not fond of love triangles or finicky females. Actually, I swayed from Jane Austen's Marianne by giving my Marion far more sense in Romantic Refinements (2nd novella in Austen in Austin), than Jane Austen did in S&S, but I couldn't seem to write her any other way.

    S&S is also the only movie where I like Alan Rickman, which goes to show the man's versatility as an actor. His portrayal of Col Brandon was my role model as I created my version - retired Texas Ranger Brandon Tabor - although of course, I put my own interpretation on him, too.

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  16. Well, I'm a bit late to arrive as I took the day off of work and my maid let me sleep in. Thankfully she's brought my breakfast and my laptop to my bed.

    Tina, I recall the year when Masterpiece did it's COMPLETE JANE AUSTEN _with so much love_ (that phrase can describe my recollection or the way Masterpiece did it). I know that the Rupert/Sally version is controversial, but I loved it. Yes, dear reader, she RUNS to find her Capt. Wentworth and we know that no upstanding woman would run in public!

    I also loved the remake of S and S. Okay, I love them all.

    Thanks so much for the chance and the idea to visit today and chat about our Miss Austen.

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  17. Hi Debra,

    Great post. Congratulations on your book release. It's a very catchy title!

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  18. CHILLING NANCY and TRIXIE. Thank you for your kind words. I only know that Austin is a great place to live now and a really great place to research. I found this amazing website with hundreds of old post cards of Austin, so we used them to picture our setting. There were very old photos and post cards...after all it's the state capital and the capitol building was a major construction in the middle of town. And was rebuilt. Someday I'll get there and hold up my copy of A in A and spin around like Marlo Thomas. or maybe not.

    Julie Klassen certainly brought the Regency period to life for many, many readers. It's clear she's done her homework! I loved her stories from the start.

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  19. Just Commonly. You are obviously in good company. My idea of a Sunday afternoon is to put in one of my Austen movies and go about my business cooking, cleaning, what-have-you, and just enjoy its company. I can run to the tv when I want to catch a favorite part! Or I can just say the words along with the actors! (no I haven't quite memorized my full collection)
    Thanks for commenting! We certainly had fun working on this series together. I hope you enjoy it!

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  20. Dear fe71c852-c009-11e5-853e-dbf288bc7c70 ,
    I'll let you in on my secret. I borrow the audio books from the library and listen to them in the truck on my commute. I've listened to a lot of classic literature that I would have had a much harder time reading. It's a truth universally acknowledged that they are not written for today's audience and I admit, it's easier to enjoy all the slow parts when someone is reading them to me!

    I had to stop reading Mansfield Park at one time because I couldn't keep up with who was who. Listening to it made it so much more enjoyable. Of course I have two DVD versions and favor the one with Johnny Lee Miller who hides all his tattoos under some incredible costumes!

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  21. Melissa J - Shhh. we don't talk about the spittle. We just look at Rupert.
    I actually do like both versions a lot. When I first watched it, I felt she was showing a lot of repressed emotion by showing very little. Well, that didn't make sense, but it's like this--I felt ALL the emotions for her. I was reacting in a way that made me really feel her emotions.

    any other thoughts on the 2007 Persuasion? TINA?

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  22. Somehow I completed a degree in English without having to read Jane Austen. After all this talk I am not sure how that happened. I love Jane Eyre. Does that count? Which Jane Austen book would you recommend for me to read first?

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  23. Hey MISSY!! Around the time we were first tossing anthology ideas around, it was a popular trend to mash genres - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for instance. We didn't exactly mash but thanks to ANITA, we picked a western setting. We've been excited about this concept from day one but it took all these years for AUSTEN IN AUSTIN to find a home at WhiteFire Publishing.

    What's really exciting is that the Jane Austen fan fiction community seems to be enjoying it too. It's something they haven't seen, so we're very happy for that!

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  24. RACHEL I wish I could give everyone an e copy. Really, but alas. I think a lot of people might have watched Sense and Sensibility this weekend because of Alan Rickman's death. My favorite movie that he's in is TRULY MADLY DEEPLY, but he's also incredible in GALAXY QUEST.

    The full anthology is 4.99 and the single novellas are 3.99, so it's really a no-brainer to grab the package deal of four great stories, linked together by characters and setting.

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  25. RUTHY, you're a dear. Obviously your spiritual gift if encouragement. And baking. Baking yes -a spiritual gift!
    Thanks so much for grabbing our baby!

    I don't think I have a favorite movie version. But - ahah! I really do love Northanger Abbey. Good thing, as that's the one I chose for ALARMINGLY CHARMING!

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  26. FELICITATIONS DEBRA! The timelessness of Jane Austen is incredible. I love reading the variations on her work. I am so excited for the release of Austen in Austin. I would love a paperback copy....

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  27. ANITA AND SUSIE

    what can I say that we haven't already discussed. other than YOU ROCK! I wish I could recall exactly how long ago we bounced this idea around the INKWELL in our secret underground location.

    Congratulations on all the great feedback and reviews. YA DUN GOOD! and I'm thrilled to be out of my cave to rave about it. I love this collection!

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  28. ROSE thank you for your kind words. I'm not sure I came up with the title. I put a bunch of combinations together and we discussed them. I recall Jennifer ALlee, one of our published Inkies at the time (Inkwell Inspirations is our group blog with 12 authors) and she may have suggested it, but it was perfect. My novella is a bit of a lark - my take on AUsten's take on gothic literature. She made it a bit of a parody, and I needed to find the humor in Catherine Moreland's character for my own Kathryn.

    Kathryn is a very naive, quite bookish, and a wallflower. Not your typical romance heroine. But she has a heart as big as Texas and an undeniable kindness and innocence, and fascination with life.

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  29. Welcome, Debra! What a fun post! I love all things Jane. Congratulations on your release of Austen in Austin...I can't wait to read it! Please enter me for the print copy. :)

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  30. SALLY SHUPE.
    oh my. that's a hard question. Charlotte Bronte was not a big Austen fan and you can probably guess why, given the grit and passion in her own writing. But there's certainly appreciation for just how Austen showed society - mostly by how she showed women's predicament, and the follies of how proper society hid their faults. She seemed to understand much more about the human heart than any spinster should. Because she was a consummate observer and, though not married, probably had her heart broken at least once.

    I'd guess a good start would be Pride and Prejudice. (You and I should meet for coffee and talk Jane Eyre)

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  31. After reading this post, I revisited Debby's post from yesterday. I had to let you all know how much your comments meant to me. Many years ago, God lead me to this site and now I know the reason. Thank you all. xo

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  32. Hi CARYL - I love the spelling of your name. One of my school friends is Caryn. Being of Welsh ancestry I think I go for the Y !!

    I've always known there was a large fiction community of Austen-inspired work. Fan Fiction. I've read a few, especially the msyteries (Stephanie Barron), but lately I've been amazed at the massive number of them. I'm learning that Darcy has been written as a biker among many other variations.

    We are very blessed to have found a nice combination with Austen in Austin. Some fiction uses the original characters, while other authors rename them. Really, one could read only JAFF Jane Austen Fan Fiction and nothing else!

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  33. Thanks JILL!

    It's nice to meet you here and see a lot of new faces. Back when I was unemployed for a year, I was definitely here everyday, bright and early. My goal is to browse and catch up on old posts, but I miss the everyday camaraderie in Seekerville.

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  34. Debbie, you guys released the collection and individual novellas so folks can buy yours or Anitas, etc. (although I am a tried and true collection lover!!!!! and yes, I grabbed the collection and can't wait to dive in, February is Ruthy gets to read month!)

    Have you guys encountered any conflict with having them available both ways? We've discussed this as Seekers with our collections, and I'm always nervous about confusing readers.

    How is this working for you???

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  35. I knew Alan Rickman from the Die Hard movie, so I had a Die Hard marathon this past weekend. Now I remember reading he was in Sense and Sensibility. Yes! Let's talk Jane Eyre! I read that book at least once a year. Love it! That and Gone with the Wind and Two from Galilee.

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  36. RUTHY -
    This was a decision by our publishers, David and Roseanna White. The individual novellas are not available in paperback, only ebook. We are pretty much only marketing (sorry to say we've been calling it pimping) our anthology and not the single titles, but it does give people a chance to make a choice (though for the Ebook it's only a dollar more to get four stories).

    I don't know how it will look when we're a couple years out and examine the decision. Maybe we'll get some thoughts on this, today!

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  37. SALLY -
    my love of Gone with the Wind led me to read it three times in a row as a teenager. It pretty much set up my love of historical fiction! I cheat with Jane Eyre and listen to it on Audio. I have a hard time getting anything done because I just stop and luxuriate in the words. I saw the new Jane Eyre movie three times at the theater. Do you think I liked it?
    My writing tastes tend much more toward Bronte than Austen. I love dark, gritty stories most of all. I guess I'll blame that on Jane Eyre!

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  38. I've missed Seekerville so much being without internet for the last few days. I'm at my husband's work to catch up. In high school and college I always tried to write papers on Jane Austen books.

    I loved your post today. Thanks for sharing!

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  39. Hi Debra
    YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!! My two favorite blogs together (sort of) for a day. I am so EXCITED about Austen in Austin, even though *gasp* I cannot say I've read any Austen books before. I've only seen bits and pieces of different movies (mostly S&S). Most of what I know has been through osmosis and discussions by folks such as you. I blame it on being a tomboy and hating all things girly when I was younger and usually choosing sci-fi and fantasy reading when I was younger. I'll probably start reading Austen works now (since you've whet my appetite with your enthusiasm).

    Looking forward to reading the Inkwell Collection SO MUCH!!! I know I'll probably appreciate it so much better after familiarizing myself with actual Austen readings, but still - not a bad way to get into reading Austen, right? Via y'all from the Inkwell?

    BTW, the Inkies throw the BEST release parties ever!!! I love checking them out, although lately, my work network won't let me access their blog *sad face*

    Yay!!! I hope to see awesome reviews of the collection and great sales too. That's my prayer for all y'all at the Inkwell. *waving at ANITA and SUZY too*

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  40. Hi Debra:

    I am a Janeite!

    In college I even took a philosophy course because one of the texts was "Sense and Sensibilia" by J. L. Austin.

    I loved "Austenland". Why no mention of "Austenland"? Would you go there if you could? You bet!

    I've seen all the P&P movies and the very best is the Keira Knightley version. Keira is the right age. All the other Lizzies are too old in my opinion. And Keira has the beauty to drive a Darcy frantic in love. Jennifer Ehle is too plain and looks like she has been on the shelf too long. (However, Jennifer is far better than Greer Garson who I had to keep reminding myself was playing Lizzy.) When I see Matthew Macfadyen, I see Darcy. However, when I see Colin Firth, I see the 'pretty boy' in Mamma Mia! (It's not Colin's fault. He's just too famous.)

    But then if I were a 'catty' woman, who was envious of Keira's youth, beauty, spontaneity, charm, exuberance, creativity, sensitivity, and pure joie de vivre, I would probably be putting her down at every chance, too. (I'm in love stage 3: that of being highly protective of Keira. :))

    Whatever you do be sure to see the extensive extra material on the Keira P&P DVD. The director had all the Bennet sisters live as a family in the house for a week before the filming so they could bond as sisters. So much extra effort went into making that movie it's laudable. I have the greatest respect for the entire project. That movie was made with pure love of Jane Austen. And I love that.

    I think both Shakespeare and Austen have an inimical ability to delve deep into the human soul, and like Jesus writing the names of the onlooker's sins in the sand, they allow each reader to 'see' what has always been hidden in plain sight. This insightful ability makes for a reading experience that has the power to delight and enlighten and satisfy as no other. While you can parody Shakespeare and Austen, no one can duplicate their excellence.

    I love the idea of "Austen in Austin". You mention a Volume 1. What are the plans for more volumes? Will you use the same authors or add new ones? The price is sure right! Thanks. If I don't win a copy, I'll surely buy one.


    Vince

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  41. Thank you Jackie! I found that the first day without internet is awful, but by the third day I'm over the rough part and can function! Thanks for commenting and I hope your internet is up and running soon.

    I wonder how many Villagers will be snowed in this week. I may live up in snow country, but we don't get much from these Noreaster storms except some backlash as it leaves New England.

    Right now 3 inches is nothing.

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  42. I have been having some health issues and have missed commenting. I see the dentist next week to take care of an abcessed tooth. It is amazing how one little tooth can cause so much trouble.

    I read a series by Robin Helms that had a modern day Darcy trade places with the Pride and Prejudice Darcy. It was an awesome series that made me want to watch the movie again.

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  43. Hey DEB!!!
    so nice to see you here and we appreciate your visits to the Inkwell!

    It's not a crime to be Austen illiterate. Seriously. I basically don't want tv other than Masterpiece and I don't listen to radio, so I'd be no good with pop culture. I do happen to know Austen, so it's a trade-off.

    There's no need to read Austen or know Austen's stories before reading Austen in Austin. The stories are completely stand alone and if you don't recognize plot links or characters based on Austen, you can still enjoy the stories. They are basically historical romances. Each story is linked to the others by recurring characters and the same setting - a finishing school for young women run by an English woman with a deep affection for Austen.

    And, thanks for the kudos on the parties. We blatantly use chocolate and cute guys...

    Please let us know what you think of the stories!

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  44. Special Note:

    A week from today, January 28th, will be the 203rd birthday of "Pride and Prejudice".

    It is said that the first title of P&P was "First Impressions" and that it was an epistolary novel like "Lady Susan" and that it was turned down. It is also said that Jane took fourteen years to rewrite that first novel and that no existing copies of that first effort exist.

    MYRA: You see, sometimes it pays to go back many years and completely rewrite a first attempt at a novel.

    I think Jane Austen had a whole lot of 'gotta wanna'.

    Vince

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  45. DEBRA!!!! What a fun, FUN post, my friend, and I am not even an Austen fan!!

    (PAUSE HERE TO CLEAN UP TOMATO STAINS ON FACE AND HOODIE)

    Honestly, girl, this post (and your book!) has me itching to read Jane and YOU soon or at least watch P&P tonight with Keira and hubby. ;)

    First of all, let me just say that I absolutely ADORE that title and predict that this will be a runaway bestseller, not only because anything Austen-ish (like anything Ami-ish) sells like crazy, but because Texas settings are also very popular, and frankly, the stories sound ADORABLE!!

    And, Trixi, seriously??? You've never seen P&P??? WOW, girl, you best get on that, and I strongly advise the Keira Knightly version. Loved it except was pretty ticked off they saved the kiss for the end, then went black so quickly. Reallllly??????? Mmmm ... I'm guessing that's one of the reasons I don't read Austen ... ;)

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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  46. VINCE
    I happen to be writing a post for my blog tomorrow based on 'reviews' and intellectual criticism of Austen's work. Imagine Jane learning that her work is being used as full semester studies and debated as it has been since the 1840s.

    I have tried to watch all the Austen inspired movies out there. I love Bride and Prejudice, though it always makes me want to run out for Indian food! AS for Austenland, I saw it three times in the theater and now own it. What made it even more special is that I got to go see it in the theater while at ACFW writer's conference and I went with my co-author Susie Dietze and our blog sisters, Suzie Johnson and Barb Early. The night before that, Susie and I had dressed up in Regency garb!

    Unlike some, I haven't found fault with Keira Knightley's Lizzie. I think she was perfect for the role, and (don't hit me, ladies) Matthew was on equal par with Colin Firth. They just brought different aspects to it. There's a lot of room for actor interpretation.

    The only movie/tv version I lack love for is the Billie Piper version of Mansfield Park, but I can't pin down why.

    Okay - Volume one is four stories and volume two is real, and will be out in the fall with four more stories by four more authors. They are still all linked together. Our publisher chose to do two anthologies to reduce size, as each story is probably about 20-24k long. Suzie Johnson, Niki Turner, Dina Sleiman and Lisa Richardson will take Austen Abbey into 1900!

    Thanks for commenting. I would have felt I'd missed something without your input! :)

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  47. VINCE
    As some Janites know, but have been kind enough not to mention, there are only 6 published Austen novels and we have 8 stories. We separated Marianne and Elinor --as Anita Mae Draper commented -- and we added Lady Susan. Suzie Johnson's novella is based on a daughter of a Lady Susan character.

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  48. JULIE
    no tomatoes from my hand, my dear. After all, you are a passionate Gone With the Wind fan, so you are completely safe with me.

    There is a large Austen fan base and I've had my nose in it for years. Now I'm able to visit some incredible Austen fan sites and spread the word about our Austin setting.
    AS for titles, there's NO WAY we could NOT choose Austin, right?

    And Austin is a lovely city with plenty of Austen fans as well. We started this project at least five or six years ago, and like anything else, we had to be patient for the right timing. WhiteFire was the perfect home for this anthology. Don't you love the covers?

    My character is a timid girl with a huge imagination. Naive as she is, you can imagine her reaction when she meets a very handsome cowboy for the first time. I had a lot of fun with their relationship. I hope you get a chance to read them all!!

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  49. Miss Austen basically wrote stories as a child and teenager and worked at it for 20 years or so before publication. She achieves some small acclaim and very little cash. I just can't stop thinking about what it all has become in two hundred years!

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  50. Debbie, I loved this post. I'm not quite as avid an Austen fan as you are, but I love her stories. And you're so right. Her insights into human nature are astounding. My favorite P and P is the BBC one. In fact, I just finished watching it again. I watch it about once a year. I also love Emma and Sense and Sensibility (which I also just finished watching). She is truly an enduring author.

    I'm curious, what are your thoughts on the movie, Becoming Jane?

    Your book looks like it has some great stories! :) And yours sounds like an intriguing, fun read. :) Congratulations!

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  51. PS—Love your picture today! :) I have no Austen-like pictures, so alas you're stuck with my usual mug.

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  52. Jane was a wonderful woman. I think we can agree that any writer who is willing to wait 200 years for acclaim is A-Okay. I get antsy at one hundred myself.

    And excellent taste in men. I for one like James Macavoy even better than Rupert.

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  53. I'll have to check out some of these stories or movies this weekend while I'm snowed in. We are supposed to get 18-24 inches. I cannot wait! I'll get to say hello to my snowman again. I have missed him lol. Sounds like you really loved the Jane Eyre movie!! I'll have to check it out, along with Pride and Prejudice.

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  54. DebH!!!!! Loving that profile pix. Oh, swoon!!! Captain Wentworth dude.

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  55. Debra, thanks so much for being our guest today! I remember seeing you in your "Jane finery" at an ACFW conference a few years ago--so fun!

    While I'm not nearly as devoted as some Austen fans, I have loved her books and enjoyed the movies. I agree that there's a timelessness about her characters and themes.

    And your novella collection sounds charming!

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  56. Jane Eyre, a little depressing, no matter who plays Jane. Though the latest version, which I ow, is slightly less, anti depressant popping. Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte would not have been friends. Charlotte would be texting depressing messages daily and Jane Austen would be telling her to pull up her big girl panties in subtext.

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  57. HI JEANNE!
    thanks so much for commenting! I own Becoming Jane too. Seriously, I think I have a problem.
    Anyway, this might just be a good weekend for everyone to catch up on at least one Austen production. Report back on Monday!

    I really enjoyed Becoming Jane. I think Anne Hathaway did an excellent job. I'm a super fan of Anna Maxwell Martin who played Cassandra, her sister. It was a nice insight into her family life, much as the production MISS JANE REGRETS was. The truth about Jane Austen's love life is still up for discussion and both productions paint it differently.
    But oh yes, James McAvoy stole my heart. I was packing to go with him myself.

    I'm basically a sucker for costume drama. Make it British and in the 18th or 19th century and I'm all aflutter.

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  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  59. Thanks MYRA.
    Susie and I had a blast that night. This is no small event. We were wearing stays, chemises, etc. I'll leave out a few details.

    I now have a second and much more low key period-appropriate dress. I like to go to Austen events and War of 1812 events. I have a working woman dress (no ladies maid needed) and it's not so foo foo, so I don't mind slugging around in mud and 80degree heat.

    Incidentally, my friends are really eager to go Civil War costumes next. That will take about 4 times as much material!

    Thank you for your kind words about the novellas, Myra. It was so nice to meet you at ACFW!

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  60. I just figured out how to put my picture on Google plus I want to see if it will post on here. Then I will change to an Austen picture.

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  61. Loved Miss Austen Regrets (Trailer here -Miss Austen Regrets


    Well except for Hugh.

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  62. Oh. Oh. OH!!!!!

    Vince Mooney, you take that back right now???? Keira as Lizzie???????

    Bone thin and simpering??????

    I loved Jennifer in that role because she carried it with brilliance and wit, and they made it long enough to reflect the book.

    I can't believe we are in such firm disagreement on this, but I will defend the A&E version with my dying breath.... because I love it to pieces!

    (puts head on desk, finding the "other" version most intolerable.)

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  63. I love the clever title tie-in -- Austen in Austin. That kind of thing catches my eye. I'm looking forward to reading this collection and seeing the different interpretations.

    True confession (I'll say quickly before ducking out, never to return again for fear of reprisal.) I'm a bigger fan of Austen rewrites than I am of the originals, (and all their various movie variations.) I love the Austenish ambiance but, I prefer Austen rewrites to the originals now. I haven't watched all the various movie versions and probably the only one I watched more than once was Pride and Prejudice. I know the stories already so I want something new -- hence the fun of the rewrites...except zombies. I don't do zombies in any literary or cinematic form. Now, after that scandalous confession I will slink out quietly. Just pretend I didn't say anything.

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  64. Wilani used my beloved Jennifer Ehle, well done, Wilani!!!!

    But all kidding aside, I love what the Austen revival has done for romance across the board.

    And that the Hallmark Channel is televising "Unleashing Mr. Darcy" this weekend, Love Inspired's own Teri Wilson as the author, how fun is that????

    Viva la romance!

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  65. WILANI= it worked. I changed mine and it took awhile before it showed up. This photo of me with Colin Firth is pretty good, isn't it?

    Hugh Bonneville played the doofus suitor/husband in Mansfield Park. Do you recall?

    VINCE AND RUTHY
    Oh dear. I believe there might be bloodshed here. I love them both. Keira is the foxy version that has entranced poor Matthew. The proposal scene in the rain makes up for all other things like too much eye makeup. And the cinematography is just stunning. And I agree, Vince, the director cut and additional pieces are fascinating. I love directors talking over the movie. After all, I've probably seen a movie a few times at that point!

    Jennifer Ehle has a genuine depth and warmth and beauty. I see her as the truest form of Lizzie, but I'd never find a reason to pass on the other version.

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  66. TINA -
    I loved Miss Austen Regrets. Truly loved it. My gosh. She fight so with herself. The regrets constantly battling with the joy of being her own true self. Sorry, Jane, but if you struggled so much with giving up the married life, we must admit we're glad you did if it meant this huge volume of work that your quill began!

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  67. TINA
    I picked that picture because of the ALMOST kiss from swoon-worthy man. I can feel the anticipation, lips hovering, not quite there and yet...

    Now I want to see the movie. The Captain is one handsome dude.

    I'm so behind. My life has been filled with children's programming and not likely to change until the little one is a tad bit more discerning about reality vs. imaginary. *heh*

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  68. KAV, I think you're safe. Austen can be difficult to read. It's true, friends. You have to fall in love with it, or... not. But she certainly set up the basis for so many replays. She hit the nail directly by exposing the heart's dealings with love. Passion and words withheld build up a lot of pressure!

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  69. I'm with Julie - I'm not really an Austen fan.

    Not that I'm an Austen non-fan, but I've never really gotten into the books or the movies. But after your post, Debra, I may have to change that!

    Heading over to Netflix to put the movies in my queue!

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  70. Austen in Austin sounds so perfect. I'm definitely going to read this one!

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  71. Thanks JAN and MARY!

    Jan, congratulations on your new release! You might know if there's been an Amish Darcy. Let's brainstorm, eh?

    Mary, I do hope you read them and enjoy. I think I snuck a little part of myself in Kathryn, because as a northerner, I am just amazed at the beauty of Texas and the southwest. What an adventure to travel to 1880s Austin and see that city building up the new capitol building.
    And why the heck do we have to wrangle with capital and capitol spellings. Maybe you know.

    :)

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  72. What really makes it fun for me is finding so many British actors in multiple roles. I just saw Captain Wentworth - Ciaran Hinds as a serial pedofile in Helen Mirren's PRIME SUSPECT.

    I'll have to watch Persuasion and rinse my eyes out.

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  73. Thanks for a fun post, Debra. I love Jane Austen. I would love to win your book as I love all Austen themed books. Another fun series is Debra White Smith's Austen series where each Austen book is rewritten in contemporary settings. There is also Beth Patillo's modern day Austen series.

    I am currently using a day by day calendar of Pride and Prejudice in which you read the book a little bit each day. I even have my husband reading it too.

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  74. Keira Knightly has done some excellent movies. The Imitation Game for one. P and P...not. She uses that same giggly laugh smile through the whole thing.

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  75. I loved Keira in Pirates.... Is it possible that I cannot handle change once given?

    Do I, (perhaps), once smitten, refuse to allow flexibility?

    It could be true, once said, or once observed, and henceforth brought to mind, that the mind will not hold both in contention.

    (I think that means I'm a stubborn woman with little grace for change!)

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  76. Hi Debra and welcome to Seekerville. What a treat to have you join us. Yay. And with a great post too. Thanks for sharing and have fun today.

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  77. Well aren't you all so clever changing your photos. sigh. I'm not jealous. I'm not jealous.

    I do know how to work this silly internet. sigh. Positive affirmation. HAHA

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  78. Well now, RUTHY, you're just showing off!
    But now I'll be annoyed by that giggle too. Tina. ugh.

    Thanks SANDY SMITH! I've been given so many recommendations this week. I always defer to Susie Dietze who, as an Austen fan, I am merely a fanette. I'll write down your titles before I forget!
    thanks for commenting!

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  79. Sandra, I hear there's a free book in the running for an Austen nod in photos. I almost forgot, myself!

    Thanks so much. I'm considering Darcy as a pickleball coach. Maybe we can collaborate :)
    I'm seriously in need of another trip to AZ, too.

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  80. Thanks Tina for letting cabe dwellers know. However, I'm not really a cabe dweller, but I still didn't know. ha ha

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  81. Oh Debra come to Arizona anytime (in the spring, fall or winter) and I'll take you up on your offer. Sounds fun.

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  82. oops somehow the autocorrect hit cabe instead of CAVE dweller. I meant cave dweller. Oh well you know what I mean Tina And you know my limitations. ha ha

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  83. TINA, I think we need a blog post solely devoted to a text-off between Austen and Bronte.

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  84. CABE DWELLERS UNITE!

    Why can't we all just get along. I can write both Alarmingly Charming AND gothics, so I think we can agree to disagree. Thanks for stopping in Susie!

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  85. I am sure there are some cab dwellers here but not until dinner.

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  86. I agree, Susie!!

    Team scathing wit with a hint of depression versus Team biting wit with underlying mocking.

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  87. Oh my goodness!!! I'm so happy I stopped by Seekerville today!!! DEB!!!!!!!!! My favorite subject, Jane Austen!!! Oh how I love every single one of Jane Austen's stories. I was inspired by her so much, especially in my first Regency, A Spy's Devotion. I modeled several of my characters, at least to some extent, on different Austen characters and situations in life. There are pieces of Mansfield Park, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility especially in my story. Mmmm, love the romance of Jane Austen! She was so brilliant. But I have to say, I can't stand stories by other authors who try to take Jane Austen's actual characters and write stories about them. Ugh. It feels like a sacrilege. (And no, I'm not doing the same thing. My characters are just loosely inspired by Jane Austen's stories and characters.)
    I am WOEFULLY behind on my reading, but I really want to read your stories, Deb!!!

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  88. You notice no one is making any parody movies from Bronte's book. Zombies? That poor hero has been tortured enough. Someone told Bronte to torture your hero and so she gave him a crazy wife, burned and blinded the guy. EXCESSIVE, CHARLOTTE!!

    Jane Austen, now she knows how to do it right.

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  89. Ooh, Austen versus Bronte....sounds good to me!

    My nod to Miss Jane today is my profile photo, which is a photographer's imaginative shot of nicely-bound copies of Miss Jane's better-known novels with a lovely cup of tea balanced atop the stack. Found on Pinterest, where searching "Jane Austen" results in dozens - nay, hundreds at least - of interesting pins to thrill a Janeite's heart.

    Austen in Austin sounds fabulous! Count me in for the drawing :)

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  90. Okay, I feel even more compelled to read A Spy's Devotion now than I already did, Melanie, after reading your comment on Jane's influence in it. Yay!

    For those wanting a Regency story influenced by Bronte and Jane Eyre, try Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen...

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  91. Hi Melanie! I love where your new stories are going. So much so, i'm a bit jealous! Seriously, what better combination than Regency and spies!

    I bet you'll get to our stories one of these days. The nice thing about novellas is you can pretty much read one in an evening, unless like me, uou've been writing non-fiction all day at work and then work on your own fiction and then TRY TO READ IN BED. ouch.

    SARAH C -I haven't read that one by Julie. not yet! Thanks for the reminder!

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  92. Julie and Kav - well, hello there :) About the title...Austen in Austin was our original choice. It seemed so natural and self-explanatory and we all loved it. However, the first editor we sent our proposal to thought the title would work better as, Austin Brides.

    Well, we didn't like that at all, but the goal had been to get the novellas published, so we sucked it up. However, God knew our hearts and it was soon afterward that the editor turned it down - presumably because they didn't want to deal with 8 different authors.

    We persevered, and 18-24 months later, WhiteFire decided to take all 8 of us on - YAY WhiteFire for having the courage! - Roseanna agreed that the name, Austen in Austin was just perfect. :D

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  93. DebH - love your profile pic, as well as your description. You just gotta get your novel finished! That's the one I'm waiting for.

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  94. Tina is firmly on the Austen side, I see.

    My peace offering would be a third party -Elizabeth Gaskell, or just plain look at a photo of Richard Armitage as John Thornton.

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  95. Sigh. Yes. John Thornton actually pretty much trumps all.

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  96. ANITA IS IN THE HOUSE!
    Anita must take many kudos on this series for swaying us to a western setting!

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  97. Hi Ruth:

    You wrote:

    "I can't believe we are in such firm disagreement on this, but I will defend the A&E version with my dying breath.... because I love it to pieces!"

    I think your view as a woman is just as valid as my view as a man. You probably should like Jennifer better. But as Debra so wisely said, "Keira is the foxy version that has entranced poor Matthew."

    Darcy is a billionaire. He could pretty much have any marriageable woman he wanted. Lizzy has a pretty bad family. Foxy can overcome all that and make a guy crazy. Jenifer is just like a dozen other woman with a season and many of them have a lot of money. Keira is a babe! It's a guy thing.

    You say, "Bone thin and simpering??????"

    Meow!
    I can hear you in Tulsa!

    Why not add "that she has too long a neck" like someone else we both know has said?

    (She is just a teenager!)

    Think who is considered to be the most beautiful woman who ever lived? (That we have an image of -- you can't use Helen of Troy).

    Nefertiti.

    Just look at her neck! I also think Nefertiti was a size two!

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/amberinsea/4393017814

    You know, I think you are like a lot of mothers, in that you would pick Jennifer as the wife for your son, while staying well clear of Keira.

    ____________
    Bottom line: your view is correct for you.

    Vince

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  98. Thanks, Deb! The wounded-soldier-turned-spy hero was actually my agent Natasha Kern's idea! My first attempt at a Regency was a bit boring, so she suggested my hero be a wounded soldier returning to England to become a spy. (Since, she said, I am good at the wounded hero type.) I think it worked out quite well. :-)

    Ooo, I love, love, love Jane Eyre too. I need to read Lady Maybe.

    Thanks, Sarah Claucherty! :-)

    I just have to say, I cannot abide the Keira/Matthew version of P & P. Cannot bear to watch it, even, although I have watched it, once, all the way through. Like Ruthy says, once you've been completely smitten by the Colin Firth version, just . . . can't do it.

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  99. I will be in on that face off!!!! On the mocking side, mean soul that I am!

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  100. Oh Vince, this does make sense. Jennifer would help with the dishes. Keira would just make more dishes.

    They both played the role as fitting the director's ideal and the times. A&E was a highbrow show back then. While a theater version with Keira targeted the younger crowd. This is the only piece of Austen many younger people know. They might not have taken to the A&E version as well.



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  101. Well, I'm sold, Melanie. I'll be grabbing your book for sure!

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  102. I had to Google John Thornton.

    I believe myself to be a recluse of late.

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  103. I love Austen! The timelessness of her characters, her insight into people, and her stories. So fun! For Movies. . . I have the 1980 P&P, 1995 P&P, Kiera P&P, 2 Sense and Sensibilities, both Persuasions, and 3 different versions of Emma.

    Loved your post!
    Becky

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  104. Vince.

    Vince.

    Vince.

    I shall concede your preferences forthwith, for as not to embarrass myself nor my peers by picking tales in public, and (as with due respect for your opinions) because you are a man of honor and substance, I shall acquiesce to your personal choices.

    They are, (of course) wrong, but this need not be a cause for falling out, nay, never! Instead, perhaps, it is more a reason to meet again at some point, raise a pint and toast the classics et al.

    For it was from such bosoms (or, in the case of Ms. Knightley, lack thereof) the levity of current romance sprung, and with joy we receive it as such! :)

    We shall agree to be in disagreement, but friends at a distance, evermore.

    Let me add that I am very glad to be in this current time, where coffee is plentiful and ceremony has been laid to rest.

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  105. I love Jane Austen! I watched the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice while I read it. My 10 year old daughter was begging for the next episode the whole time. She's a little bookworm, makes me proud!
    I'm excited to read this collection, I enjoy the Texas setting too.

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  106. And we can both agree that Debra is wise! :)

    I brought fresh coffee, tea and a rousing bowl of delicious punch, because a punch is a delightful repast!

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  107. Hiding behind my bonnet brim here in slight shame, but I actually have not seen the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice.

    Any recommendations on where I could find a copy to watch? Is it online anywhere?

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  108. Becky in Ohio - I curtsy in awe of your superior collection of Austen films. I'd bow, but that's a bit difficult in a full-length gown ;)

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  109. I shall have to scour the web for this BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Forthwith.

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  110. The "Colin Firth" Version is currently on Amazon Prime... I think.
    But I hope you all remember to take advantage of the library system. Here in NY all the libraries are part of systems so I can go online and order anything from a library in multiple counties and they'll send it to mine. I'm pretty sure you'd be able to find every Austen adaptation out there.

    It's not the gown SARAH C, it's the darn stays!

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  111. Milady TINA, thank you for your kind words. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I enjoyed reading Safe in the Fireman's Arms recently. Miss Maggie is a delight, as she is too fond of books and they have turned her brain.

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  112. BETH, my granddaughters aren't yet old enough to appreciate Austen. The oldest one is in the Little House books, but she has a regency dress that I made her and we visit the annual Jane Austen day at our living history museum. The nice thing about Austen books and adaptations are that they are generally safe for granddaughters and grandmas!

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  113. DEBRA - definitely a complication when attempting to move freely!

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  114. BECKY, you are the owner of an amazing library, which for me have become my good Sunday afternoon friends!

    So far I've been too cheap to buy Bride and Prejudice but I really do enjoy that movie too.

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  115. Deb, I will be forever grateful that you suggested we do a western version of Jane's novels when I protested that the only way I'd read one of her books was if she (or the hero) came in wearing a cowboy hat with a rifle slung across her/his saddle. (It's been so long, the details are fuzzy.)

    That sounds strange, considering that Jane Austen's Classics were one of the first book collections I ever bought - before Laura Ingalls books in fact - but I never could get into the rhythm of Jane's "voice". Hence, I enjoyed her novels through film versions where I could see what she meant.

    Of course, I had to read S&S when I decided to write Romantic Refinements, but I like to think I've matured (ahem) over the years. And Cliff's Notes helped, too. :D



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  116. Thank you, Sarah. Yes. Maggie the book girl.

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  117. ANITA, I just remember how much fun it was to brainstorm this thing, and then pull it together over months. I'd given up on it last year and then we gave it another try!

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  118. Sarah, you are cracking me up!!!! I, too, am somewhat in awe of those films.

    And proud of her!!!

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  119. Not that it's a contest or anything.

    Of course not.

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  120. When does the next volume release????????

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  121. We just discussed this a moment ago in the Inky secret underground headquarters. Amazon says: SEPTEMBER 15th. That will include four other Inkwell authors, but they will have to go through me to get to you, Tina.

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  122. SECRET UNDERGROUND HEADQUARTERS?????

    LOVE IT!!!!!

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  123. LOLOLOLOL. Debra!!!! You are so cute.

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  124. oh my. I think Tina has indulged in too much syllabub.

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  125. Ruthy said:

    "Sarah, you are cracking me up!!!!"

    Day made. My random comments made Ruthy laugh.

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  126. Syllabub: A delicious Old English dessert made with whipped cream, sherry or white wine and sugar, and often infused with lemon.

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  127. You have a mind like a dictionary, my dear!

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  128. Jane Austen is a great favorite of mine. Timeless indeed.

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  129. Thanks Mary Preston. You've brought this shindig back into order. Thanks for commenting!

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  130. Hi Debra:

    You wrote:

    "Oh Vince, this does make sense. Jennifer would help with the dishes. Keira would just make more dishes."

    This does sound like the Martha vs Mary dichotomy. Do you think most women like Martha and most men like Mary?

    Vince

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  131. Hi Ruth:

    I wrote:
    "___________________________
    Bottom line: your view is correct for you."


    To which you wrote:

    "They {my views} are, (of course) wrong, but this need not be a cause for falling out, nay, never!"

    Cognitive Dissonance:

    If I was wrong in saying that you were right, is this some clever way of admitting that I was right without directly admitting it?

    In any event, "falling out" would be very hard to do.

    Vince

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  132. Goodness! What a lively comments section, with friendly banter and everything. :D

    I'm looking forward to reading these stories. So happy for all involved! :D

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  133. Well, Jesus congratulated Mary for her choice, but many women have a difficult time wondering who would do the work if everyone was listening. For the Keira Jennifer discussion, I'd say this old saying...kissing wears out, cooking don't.

    But remember I like both actresses' portrayal.

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  134. Hi Tina:

    I think Charlotte Bronte and Emily Dickenson would make good friends. I'd like to see their texts.

    Vince

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  135. I really need to read this again.. if I read it, it was in high school many years ago! You all make it sound like one I really would enjoy reading... hmmm.. hubba hubba :)

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  136. Thanks DeAnna D! We've had some heavy discussion here on Bronte vs Austen, Keira Knightly vs Jennifer Ehle. So far there's been no "best Darcy" throw down.

    DEANNA S, which book are you referring to?

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  137. I'm late to the Jane Austen party. So very sorry! Loved seeing you and Susie in your elegant gowns. Did you mention that you created them? You are so, so talented.

    I'll be watching Hallmark on SAT night! Congrats to Teri Wilson on her Mr. Darcy story!

    You're an only child, Deb? I am too. We're special, right?

    Congrats on your release. All the stories look fantastic! So proud of you, Anita Mae, Susie and Gina!!! You girls rock!

    Hugs!

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  138. Waving to Jill and sending hugs and love!

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  139. Thanks Debby! I think you helped get that photo into big circulation, too. Yes, I made the dresses and the stays. We had so much fun dressing up. That was the conference when Susie won the Genesis award for this story, too!

    And, yes we're special but not spoiled. Okay, I had a pony, but that doesn't count.

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  140. I saw Jane Austen and I had to stop by. I love anything Austenish. The movies (I go back and forth between Colin and Matthew), the books, everything. I have Austen in Austin on my wish list.

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  141. Thanks, Dana. Thanks for commenting and for your diplomatic policy on Darcys. You came to the right place, and I think that wish puts you in our drawing.

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  142. Wow, I've been kissing Wentworth for like 16 hours now. Chapped lips. Thanks for being such a wonderful hostess, Debra. I wish you and your ladies continued success!

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  143. Yes, and my stays are killing me. I'll ring for my ladies maid. I hope your lips recover. Your neck must be sore too. At least I had Darcy to hold me up.

    Good night! it's writer's bedtime in my time zone.

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  144. What an awesome post! And I'm totally wearing my Regency dress. My daughters have dresses, too. We all got into our Austen gear for an Austen tea party around Christmas. It was such a fun group of women who'd been following my Austen Takes the South series and it was Persuasion-themed.
    Wonderful post and Long Live Jane!

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  145. Thank you Miss Hathaway. I believe we may have inspired a wave of Austen movie-watching this weekend with our efforts!

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  146. Congratulations to the authors of Austen in Austin. My good friend Anita Mae Draper is one of the authors and I'm so proud of her. As for my favorite version of P & P, I love the accuracy of the Colin Firth version, but as for Mr. Darcys I love Matthew McFayden's portrayal. When he comes walking over the early morning meadow to Lizzy, I get goosebumps every single time.

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  147. Thanks, Christine! They did that sunrise shot in one take to capture the perfect lighting. Plus the soundtrack is amazing.

    We appreciate your "good opinion" 🙌🙌

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  148. Austen in Austin is such a fun idea! Austen books, sigh. I can't get enough of them. Please enter me for a print copy. Thank you

    Deanne P.

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  149. We certainly had fun with it, Deanne! I'm glad you got your name in the basket.

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  150. I do enjoy Austen. Her writing, characters, and situations are timeless. The movies of her books, whether traditional or modern variations hold up well.

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  151. Such an interesting post, Debra - thank you!!

    Please drop my name in the drawing!! Thank you!!

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