Friday, January 25, 2008

Hat's Off to Bonnets

The other day I was searching the internet for costume regency bonnets. I was surprised at the lack of simple straw bonnets and then I finally found some in straw and felt, but they were pretty pricey. Then I looked at a few sites where people had altered regular straw craft bonnets, or made bonnets, so I was thinking along those lines by the time I watched Northanger Abbey on Sunday. Once Catharine was in Bath I couldn’t stop noticing all the lovely bonnets.
Well, I did manage to refocus my attention on the show, but at night I dreamed I was going store to store looking for the perfect bonnet. After a long and fruitless search I decided to find a hat that I could alter. I ended up in some weird kind of Goodwill store (or, maybe that was just the regular Goodwill store). I found straw hats and began to examine them and think of the possibilities, when suddenly I spied a fabulous bonnet! But someone was wearing it. Before I knew it I was caught up in some sort of second hand fashion parade in the store, but I could not make my way through the crowds over to that lovely bonnet. (But what does it signify, for I shall have no place to wear it!)
The night before last I was with my husband and I stumbled over my words when I was saying something about ‘tomorrow’. He gave me a strange look and said “Did you just say ‘on the morrow’?
Umm, yeah. Maybe the Jane Austen season is getting to my head.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Persuasion was on last night and it was great. That show makes me tear up. And watching it on our new large flat screen was way better than seeing 5 minute segments in the 3” youtube box all those months ago.
There’s one funny trick my mind played on me. The characters all seemed so perfect that when I read Persuasion again this past fall my brain inserted those actors into the story. So much so that toward the end I’m thinking, “wait- where’s that scene where Captain Wentworth is writing at the table, did they cut it?” I could literally see Rupert Penry-Jones walking back into the room and sliding the letter across the desk while making eye contact with Anne….
My daughter is going to want to watch it when she gets home from school. My hubby watched with me, which was fun. He was frustrated with how everyone treated Anne. But after a while he said she was just too wishy-washy, and that’s why everyone treated her like a doormat. I may have said something to defend Anne at this point, but then I thought, that’s exactly a Captain Wentworth line of thinking, and if I had to liken my husband to any of the main Austen heroes it would probably be Captain Wentworth. So once again I was marveling at how brilliant and insightful Jane Austen was.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Jane Eyre

Sometimes My hubby and I have conversations via our extended family website. This is what he wrote on the thread about the Jane Eyre program………

The thing I thought was funny about Rochester was that he talked as if he was horribly disfigured and I had to strain to see that - ah yes, there was a little scaring on his left side. Sort of like how the Phantom of the Opera was supposed to be hideous, but was way better looking than me on my best day ever. It seemed a good match though. The girl was still ugly but now he was blind and they were both rich. And he was rid of the crazy first wife who tried to kill everyone.I suppose if the girl were rich enough to get plastic surgery and then she went back and found he was blind it would be an O Henry rather than a Bronte. So a happy ending all around. (I only saw part of the second half too. And it is entirely possible I am taking too superficial a view of the story.)
This was my reply…….

That is so mean. Can't there be a story about a plain looking person? Rude. That's it. I take it back about the hot dogs. We're totally having fish sticks now!

Friday, January 4, 2008

All Six Every Year

Anytime is a great time to read Jane Austen, however last year I thought I'd make a little schedule for myself, planning out the best time of the year to read Jane Austen. Each novel gets two months, and it doesn't take that long to read them so there's plenty of time remaining for Juvenilia, your JASNA newsletter, and the latest copy of 'Persuasions' that brightens the mailbox each July. Most of the novels incorporate a whole year at least, so this is highly subjective, but I will tell you what I think is the best time to read each book, and why.

Dec –Jan; Emma. The Christmas Party at the Weston’s comes to mind, along with Mr. John Knightly’s wry complaints, Mr. Woodlouse’s worries, and Mr. Elton’s desperate proposal. Emma is the perfect backdrop for holiday plans, planning a ball, and sending a charitable gift to the Mrs. Bates in your life.

Feb –Mar; Northanger Abbey. I’ve heard that winter is the season for Bath. I hope that’s right. I don’t know if Catherine Morland is the youngest of our heroines, but she definitely seems the most innocent and naïve, perfect for the start of a new year.

April –May; Mansfield Park. My first plan was to put Mansfield Park in July, as a birthday present to Fanny. Her personality seems so much like mine in many ways; I fancy that her sign must be Cancer, even though I don’t really believe in that type of thing. Then Sir Thomas mentioned in mid July that she had passed her birthday recently. Therefore I have given Fanny Price the honorary birthday of July 11th, (same as mine) and I will happily share it with such a sweet selfless woman.
However, Fanny was so disappointed to miss the progress of spring while exiled in Portsmouth, that I decided springtime would be the best time and place for my favorite of Jane Austen’s ladies.

June –July; Pride and Prejudice. Summer is the time for the big ticket novels. Perfect for a travel read, or poolside/beachside. Or pretending you are poolside/beachside. A little sea bathing would set me up nicely!

August-Sept; Sense and Sensibility. With this book you can enjoy the suns rays one moment, and be caught in an unexpected September shower the next. Then just when you think the warmth is gone for good, a little Indian summer comes along and all is beautiful again.

October-November; Persuasion. Once again I’m tempted by a birthday -we actually know Anne Elliot’s, it is August 9th-but I must put Persuasion in the fall. Anne and her story exemplify fall and the passage of time, the fading beauty, trading coolness for warmth. But like the fiery red leaves bursting into prominence, Anne experiences a ‘second bloom’, and another chance at what she had once lost.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy JANE-uary

Thanks to fealeitha I have the schedule for the shows starting in January.

Schedule:January 13, 2008 - Persuasion
January 20, 2008 - Northanger Abbey
January 27, 2008 - Mansfield ParkFebruary 3, 2008 - Miss Austen Regrets
February 10-24, 2008 - Pride and Prejudice (3 2-hour episodes)
Pledge drive,
March 2-16; no films aired
March 23, 2008 - Emma
March 30-April 6, 2008 - Sense and Sensibility (2 90-minute episodes)
I was telling a friend a little story about how I got my P&P DVD set and I haven't mentioned it her so I thought I'd add it:
I do have the DVD set. That year my hubby had been wanting a DVD player and I kept saying maybe we should wait. One day he came home with the DVD player
and as I looked at him he handed me the P&P box and said, "I figured you'd need it for these..." Smart man.