Sunday, February 28, 2010

After School

History of England Austen’s History of England, with illustration by Cassandra Austen.

It's done now. The school presentation went well and the girls seemed interested (Don't take that wrong, it was all girls). We did not have time to learn a dance, but judging by the age and shyness factor of the girls, that may have been for the best in a school environment. So we read "The Visit", a play from Jane Austen’s Juvenile works. I will add it below. I made a few changes for smoother reading, but it’s basically the same. They laughed and thought it was fun. I also showed them an example of one of Jane’s ‘crossed letters’ and encouraged then to try and write one and see if their friends could read it.

crossed_letter_big Crossed letter

I don’t know why I was so nervous about going into the school. I need to either quit doing things like this or do them more often!

A funny story- the night before, I told Jon “Whatever you do, don’t leave for work without buttoning my into my dress” (I cannot button my Jane Austen dress on my own).  Well, in the morning I was buttoned up, did the presentation, and came home ready to rejoice by collapsing on the couch in a tee shirt and pajama pants……. until I realized I couldn’t get out of my dress until the kids came home from school.

Where are the servants when you need them!





The Visit



To the Revd. James Austen

(adapted for performance by Lynnae Pulsipher)


The following Drama, which I humbly recommend to your Protection & Patronage, tho' inferior to those celebrated Comedies called "The School for Jealousy" & "The Travelled Man", will I hope afford some amusement to so respectable a Curate as yourself; which was the end in veiw when it was first composed by your Humble Servant the Author.

Dramatis Personae

Sir Arthur Hampton    Lady HamptonLord

Fitzgerald                        Miss Fitzgerald

Stanly                                Sophy Hampton

Willoughby, Sir Arthur's nephew      

Cloe Willoughby           Servant

The scenes are laid in Lord Fitzgerald's House.


Scene the first, a Parlour --



Cousin, I am your servant.


Stanly, good morning to you. I hope you slept well last night.


Remarkably well, I thank you.


I am afraid you found your Bed too short. It was bought in my Grandmother's time, who was herself a very short woman & made a point of suiting all her Beds to her own length, as she never wished to have any company in the House, on account of an unfortunate impediment in her speech, which she was sensible of being very disagreable to her inmates.


Make no more excuses, dear Fitzgerald.


I will not distress you by too much civility -- I only beg you will consider yourself as much at home as in your Father's house. Remember, "The more free, the more Wellcome."



Amiable Youth!

"Your virtues, could he imitate
How happy would be Stanly's fate!"

[exit STANLY

Scene the 2d.



What Company is it you expect to dine with you to Day, Cousin?


Sir Arthur & Lady Hampton; their Daughter, Nephew & Niece.


Miss Hampton & her Cousin are both Handsome, are they not?


Miss Willoughby is extremely so. Miss Hampton is a fine Girl, but not equal to her.


Is not your Brother attached to the Latter?


He admires her, I know, but I believe nothing more. Indeed I have heard him say that she was the most beautiful, pleasing, & amiable Girl in the world, & that of all others he should prefer her for his Wife. But it never went any farther, I'm certain.


And yet my Cousin never says a thing he does not mean.


Never. From his Cradle he has always been a strict adherent to Truth

[Exeunt Severally

End of the First Act.


Scene the first. The Drawing Room.

Chairs set round in a row. LORD FITZGERALD, MISS FITZGERALD & STANLY seated.

Enter a Servant.


Sir Arthur & Lady Hampton. Miss Hampton, Mr. & Miss Willoughby.


Enter the Company.


I hope I have the pleasure of seeing your Ladyship well. Sir Arthur, your servant. Yrs., Mr. Willoughby. Dear Sophy, Dear Cloe, --


Good day


Hello. [They pay their Compliments alternately.

The Dining Parlour.


Pray be seated. [They sit

Bless me! there ought to be 8 Chairs & there are but 6. However, if your Ladyship will but take Sir Arthur in your Lap, & Sophy my Brother in hers, I beleive we shall do pretty well.


Oh! with pleasure....


I beg his Lordship would be seated.


I am really shocked at crouding you in such a manner, but my Grandmother (who bought all the furniture of this room) as she had never a very large Party, did not think it necessary to buy more Chairs than were sufficient for her own family and two of her particular freinds.


I beg you will make no apologies. Your Brother is very light.

STANLY, aside)

What a cherub is Cloe!


What a seraph is Stanly!

Enter a Servant.


Dinner is on table.


I shall trouble Mr. Stanly for a Little of the fried Cow heel & Onion.


Oh Madam, there is a secret pleasure in helping so amiable a Lady. --


I assure you, my Lord, Sir Arthur never touches wine; but Sophy will toss off a bumper I am sure, to oblige your Lordship.


Elder wine or Mead, Miss Hampton?


If it is equal to you, Sir, I should prefer some warm ale with a toast and nutmeg.


Two glasses of warmed ale with a toast and nutmeg.


I am afraid, Mr. Willoughby, you take no care of yourself. I fear you don't meet with any thing to your liking.


Oh! Madam, I can want for nothing while there are red herrings on table.


Sir Arthur, taste that Tripe. I think you will not find it amiss.


Sir Arthur never eats Tripe; tis too savoury for him, you know, my Lord.


Take away the Liver & Crow, & bring in the suet pudding.

(a short Pause.)


Sir Arthur, shan't I send you a bit of pudding?


Sir Arthur never eats suet pudding, Ma'am. It is too high a Dish for him.


Will no one allow me the honour of helping them? Then John, take away the Pudding, & bring the Wine.

[SERVANTS take away the things and bring in the Bottles & Glasses.


I wish we had any Desert to offer you. But my Grandmother in her Lifetime, destroyed the Hothouse in order to build a receptacle for the Turkies with its materials; & we have never been able to raise another tolerable one.


I beg you will make no apologies, my Lord.


Come Girls, let us circulate the Bottle.


A very good notion, Cousin; & I will second it with all my Heart. Stanly, you don't drink.


Madam, I am drinking draughts of Love from Cloe's eyes.


That's poor nourishment truly. Come, drink to her better acquaintance.


And now my amiable Sophia, condescend to marry me.

[He takes her hand ]


I certainly shall!


Oh! Cloe, could I but hope you would make me blessed --


I will.


Since you, Willoughby, are the only one left, I cannot refuse your earnest solicitations -- There is my Hand.


And may you all be Happy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

School Presentation


Isabel Bishop’s renderings of Elizabeth Bennet in the E. P. Dutton edition of Pride and Prejudice

I volunteered to go into my daughter’s 7th grade classroom and talk about Jane Austen. I am excited, but I didn’t think I’d get a whole hour.

It changes things. Part of me starts to panic, and part of me says ‘Now think of all the fun things we can do!’.

I don’t know if any of you are like this, but because of my anxiety issues I get really nervous, even if it’s something I want to do. I think this will be so much fun, but still, panic is setting in.

There’s so much I want to say. I don’t need to write a lecture, but I tried to write an outline just to keep me focused a little.

I’ve done a presentation for adults before, most of whom were already Austen fans. My goal tomorrow is twofold- to help the children understand Jane Austen’s life and the challenges she faced as a lady writer, and to explain some of the interesting cultural differences  to help them in their reading of the books.

As fond as I am of Jane Austen, I think 7th grade is a little young for American kids to be introduced to her. I’m afraid they’ll miss a lot. But these are smart kids, so hopefully I’m wrong. Either way I look forward to bringing a little of Jane Austen’s world to them.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Our Jane Austen Party

Welcome to my second annualcolor edit IMG_1293

 Jane Austen Party

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The house has been decorated…….I brought down all the heart garlands that you’ve seen in my studio.color edit IMG_1317

  I was still in the bustle of preparations as my guests arrived.  We had lovely food, heavenly cocoa, and sweet punch. After eating we presented a dramatic reading, ‘The Visit’ by Jane Austen, from her juvenile works. We also read two short scraps, also from Jane’s juvenile writings, which can be found below.

We then danced a bit. Needing more room than the piano room can offer, this year we pulled furniture out of the family room and had room for five couples to stand up together. Our English country dancing was relatively successful, even if our space was still rather confined.

color edit IMG_1297 

color edit IMG_1346Visitors brought their own additions to paste into ‘Emma and Harriet’s book of Love Poems’. After the book was assembled we all admired it, guessed at some of the riddles, and then had a drawing to see which lucky participant would win it.




 color edit IMG_1304

  Pictures of the book’s ‘courtship’ page I made, and below are more pictures of the event, thanks to a few lovely young ladies who were very willing to pose for us. I’m regretting that I didn’t get pictures of the whole group. I had some enthusiastic friends and family here to enjoy the day, I just didn’t pick up my camera often enough. But here are just a few more. Thanks for visiting!

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Two short works by Jane Austen:


A short, but interesting Tale, is with all imaginable Respect inscribed to Mr. Francis William Austen, Midshipman on board his Majesty's Ship the Perseverance by his Obedient Servant


MR. HARLEY was one of many Children. Destined by his father for the Church & by his Mother for the Sea, desirous of pleasing both, he prevailed on Sir John to obtain for him a Chaplaincy on board a Man of War. He accordingly cut his Hair and sailed.

In half a year he returned & set-off in the Stage Coach for Hogsworth Green, the seat of Emma. His fellow travelers were, A man without a Hat, Another with two, An old maid, & a young Wife.

This last appeared about 17, with fine dark Eyes & an elegant Shape; in short, Mr. Harley soon found out that she was his Emma & recollected he had married her a few weeks before he left England.

A Tour through Wales --
in a Letter from a young Lady --


I HAVE been so long on the ramble that I have not till now had it in my power to thank you for your Letter. -- We left our dear home on last Monday month; and proceeded on our tour through Wales, which is a principality contiguous to England and gives the title to the Prince of Wales. We travelled on horseback by preference. My Mother rode upon our little pony, & Fanny & I walked by her side or rather ran, for my Mother is so fond of riding fast that She galloped all the way. You may be sure that we were in a fine perspiration when we came to our place of resting. Fanny has taken a great many Drawings of the Country, which are very beautiful, tho' perhaps not such exact resemblances as might be wished, from their being taken as she ran along. It would astonish you to see all the Shoes we wore out in our Tour. We determined to take a good Stock with us & therefore each took a pair of our own besides those we set off in. However we were obliged to have them both capped & heelpeiced at Carmarthen, & at last when they were quite gone, Mama was so kind as to lend us a pair of blue Satin Slippers, of which we each took one and hopped home from Hereford delightfully --

I am your ever affectionate

Elizabeth Johnson.

(Thank you for visiting my tea party! –Lynnae)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jane Austen at Home and School

hearts and lights long2

Did you see this on my last post?

hearts 2

I know it’s been a little crazy around here.

But these hearts looked so fun when I saw them on Dear Lizzy that I knew I had to make some to decorate for my upcoming Jane Austen Party. So I made some…………….

hearts 1  hearts 3

Friday is the Jane Austen party, and the next Friday I have actually volunteered to go into my daughters school and talk to some of the reading groups about what writing was like for a woman like Jane Austen. I told the teacher I could even come in costume. But the costume part is TBD right now because Jon says I’ll embarrass my daughter. I don’t think so.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentines Day

Can You Feel The Love……..

hearts 2

My husband had a treat for me on Valentines day. He handed me a heart shaped box of chocolates. On it was a note containing the riddle that Mr. Elton gives to Emma. 


I smiled and then opened the chocolate, and found……..


He had cut out the box sections so he could fit the DVD in there! Sweet!

(I will add that that gift was soon followed up by a box of chocolates from my favorite local shop).

I made chocolate covered strawberries for us, and he cooked the most tender steaks I’ve had in ages.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Emma – Conclusion

The conclusion of Emma was Sunday night. I loved the adaptation and hope to add it to my collection. The Box Hill scenery was so lovely!


I don’t know where Box Hill is or if this could have been filmed on location. There is nothing modern to be seen in the view, but whether they filmed in in England or went up to Scotland or Ireland I don’t know. It is gorgeous though. If you know, leave a comment.


Last year over mid winter break I threw a little Jane Austen Tea Party for my family. You can see pictures here.  I am going to do it again and I’m inviting a few outside the family circle. I know not everyone will have a regency costume, but that’s fine. I’m just trying to think of those who love Austen like I do.

So this is what I’m planning. It’s actually a ‘punch and cocoa’ tea party, since I don’t drink tea or know anything about it.  We will have other little treats as well.  We will have a short theatrical presentation from Jane Austen’s work. Last year we tried a little English country dance, which we may do again, but we are severely limited by the size of my house, so I have to be flexible there.

Book of Love by Emma Woodhouse and Harriet Smith

Emma and Harriet

Were you as enchanted as I was by the way this version of ‘Emma’ depicted Emma and Harriet’s ‘love’ book, for their collection of love poems, riddles and charades?

Emma and Harriet book 1 Emma and Harriet book 2

Instantly I wanted one like it….But then I had this fun idea today for the Tea Party. I found a small book of craft paper tied with ribbon. We will use it to make a book at the party!

I will start it out with a cover page and inside, Mr. Elton's 'charade' to Emma Woodhouse and Harriet Smith.
I will then invite every visitor who wants to participate in the 'Love' book to create a little page with a love poem, or riddle, suitable for the ladies, printed or nicely written, worthy of their sweet little book.
Page size...4" wide and 5 1/2 " long, embellished with pretty little cutout things, stamps, pressed flowers, lace or ribbon.
As guests arrive they will paste it into the book. After our theatrical reading we will raffle the book off to someone who contributed.

So today’s latest idea should keep my busy for a while. I’ll let you know how it goes!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Part two of Emma……

…..was great. I think I’m as excited for the trip to Box Hill as she is, even thought I know it will all turn out badly.

I sorely missed the famous line of Emma’s to Mr. Knightly at the dance… “We are not really so much brother and sister as to make it all improper.”

“Brother and sister! No, indeed!”

Emma dance at the crown