Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Jane Austen & Co.

For the curious minds who want to know...ahem, Mav! LOL

I'm in a very Regency state of mind at the moment, inspired of course by Becoming Jane, so I have no qualms discussing her. They did very well by her in the movie. No complaints at all here. I've been obsessed with Pride & Prejudice especially since I read it in senior English. I'm happy to say I've got my little sister into the whole Regency romance genre which is a step up from the chick-lit she's been reading since she was a proud pre-teen. Not that there's anything wrong with Meg Cabot...I'm a Princess Diaries fan...which inspired two other Anne Hathaway movies! What a coincidence!

Anyway, it was a nice outing for me and her. Definitely one to go to see with girlfriends...or your husband if you're lucky enough to be married to a man who's secure enough to sit through a movie like that without falling asleep...as mine did in the middle of The Notebook on our one-week anniversary. He brought he flowers beforehand so he was forgiven...a little too easily in hindsight.

So...back to Jane. I do approve of the vast number of sequels built onto her stories...Pride and Prejudice especially. I'm sure if Ms. Austen were living into today's times she'd approve of the more loyal sequels. I loved Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange. If Austen wrote anything from Darcy's POV, this would be it! It's so very true to his character and gives us a teasing glimpse of Elizabeth's life at Pemberly after the wedding.

I've bought an Elizabeth Aston sequel entitled Mr. Darcy's Daughters, but I'd like to read others first for the sake of chronology. The favorites are on my reading list. While I write, though, I like to stick with the genre my characters are living in. If I'm reading historical, I tend to write with a pedantic or antiquated air. If I'm consecutively writing contemporary while reading a historical, my hero tends to sound like a pompous ass. When I was writing the end of my historical, Love Among the Ruins, I was reading Sophie Kinsella's Confessions of a Shopaholic. One of my characters made the comment, "What a load of rubbish!" which of course is true to the contemporary, British ilk of Becky Bloomwood's character and not my young, American Air Force lieutenant trying to speak Italian in the 1940s.

I am enjoying The Jane Austen Miscellany. It's cute little tidbits about Jane Austen, her characters, books, and Regency life by Lesley Button. It's a great gift book for friends who love Jane best or something to whittle away the aimless hours of writer's block. One of my favorite quotes from this book was from a letter Jane wrote to James Clarke dated December 11, 1815:

"I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress."


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