Archives

A few interesting articles!

Dear All,

I have gathered a few articles about Jane Austen and posted links to them below, for your amusement and information. 

1. Disease, dependence and death: The dark reality behind Jane Austen’s pearlescent prose; by Ceri Radford

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/jane-austen-the-austen-girls-helen-amy-books-characters-new-book-pride-and-prejudice-a8945061.html

2. Despite Being a Best-Selling Author, Jane Austen Was Paid Very Little; Emily Alford

https://jezebel.com/despite-being-a-best-selling-author-jane-austen-was-pa-1836954218?fbclid=IwAR0SaK3sBA5M9Mw8J0Te_XTPzMPdiYyA5bOQ7A67Erh-3JDkyvvs_Yiil1E

3. Hampshire home in Jane Austen’s former village is now for sale; by Lisa Walden.

https://www.msn.com/en-ie/money/homes-property/hampshire-home-in-jane-austens-former-village-is-now-for-sale/ar-AAFxths?fbclid=IwAR0xKeuBmatHocThuxq0TsQlKNuPlAVaM-sSq5g9uGcN815RmjIs566A_Gc

4. Sanditon: The Jane Austen masterpiece that never was; by Rupert Christiansen.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/authors/sanditon-jane-austen-masterpiece-never/amp/?fbclid=IwAR0ARkq5I6aGHAUYoco8tZbK4NIbj9lCB08MrqChhmA-LgNBdLGWczWCZkM

5. Did Jane Austen write the first seaside novel?; by Kathryn Sutherland.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jul/22/austen-at-seaside-new-resorts-novel?fbclid=IwAR2Gf427VSmNaY9qC-ooBhsgiEyJeqmz1IQcDEKDvktAQRZSRf6XmRByreo

Enjoy,

MJR

 

 

 

 

Do you like George or not, THAT is the question!

1561778102e7161923070e93a40303c9[1]350821.1[1]

In Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen intended George Wickham’s character to be the villain of the story: Yes, Darcy is a proud, arrogant and insufferable snob, but Wickham is definitely the villain:

Now, whether you are watching an adaptation from the original book or indulging in one of the modern-day variations, you either love him or hate him. Or do you?

My opinion differs depending on which of my two favourite adaptations I’m watching. They are the 1995 adaptation from Austen’s original manuscript by Sue Birtwistle and Andrew Davies and the modern-day version, Lost in Austen, by Guy Andrews. I can’t deny that both George’s are handsome, personable and look very nice in a scarlet uniform, but for me that is where the similarity ends. I must, however, give credit to two amazing actors for delivering such different versions of the same character. The 1995 GW was Adrian Lukis and the Lost in Austen actor was Tom Riley. Both were superb as George Wickham.

In the original I find Wickham to be a jealous, selfish cad. He’s a compulsive gambler, a liar and an accomplished despoiler of maidens. Unfortunately there is nothing in his character that I like, which is just as Austen intended.

When Wickham seduces Lydia.

However, in Guy Andrews’s version I find I quite like George. He’s honourable, gallant and insightful, offering assistance and advice wherever he can.

Examples; (Spoiler Alert!)
As the story unfolds we learn that Georgiana has persistently offered her virtue to George. He gently rebuffs her and calls her a sweet child; this obviously dents her pride and infuriates her. In retaliation for his rejection, she informs her brother that George has ravished her, and doting Darcy believes her. Poor George!

After Mrs Bennet ejects Amanda from Longbourn, George instructs her on how to act in society, gives her advice on where to go and what to do. Finally he gives her half his money so that she can buy a suitable gown to visit Jane at Rosings. (Love the fan scene)

He takes pity on Bingley, who is lamenting the loss of Jane to Mr Collins. He stays with him as he drowns his sorrows in the bottom of a bottle and then safely returns him to Pemberley, much to Darcy’s annoyance.

George, coming to the rescue of the ladies.

After Mr Bennet is injured in a sort of duel, it’s George that comes to his rescue. As the injured man lies on the floor bleeding to death, it is George that secures the services of a village woman who has knowledge of stitching wounds. In effect he saves Mr Bennet’s life.

These are not the actions of a villain but a genuinely nice human being, someone you could rely on in a crisis, someone you would be proud to call friend. Oh he is not all sweetness and like though have no fear, George certainly hasn’t lost his edge. There are times when he is more than a little mischievous.

Example; (Spoiler Alert!)
He spreads a rumour that Amanda’s wealth comes from the fish trade and then embellishes it by declaring her father has become a drunken sot and drank it all away. Untrue we know but it has repercussions in the story.

Oh yes, with this George as your friend life would never be dull, interesting and exciting maybe, but never dull. Though it would probably be a good idea to keep your wits about you, just in case;

I find I like the Guy Andrews George very much, almost as much as I like Darcy…..

What do you think?
Martine x

P/s Have you read my latest book yet, I would love to know what you think.

 

 

From Bath to Longbourn

 

On the way home from, Bath, we decided to drive to the house they used as Longbourn during the filming of the 1995 BBC TV series of Pride & Prejudice.

The scene above is of the horses waiting for the couple to emerge from the church after their marriage, as you can see below.

It all looks very picturesque in the TV series, but 24 years have lapsed since this joyful scene was filmed.

Longbourn was recently up for sale, as per my post of July 2018. (I believe it is sold now).

https://martinejaneroberts.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/longbourn-is-up-for-sale/

As I have yet to win the lottery, I will just have to make do with a visit to the outside of the house, and the church where Mr Darcy marries Elizabeth Bennet, and Mr Bingley marries, dear , sweet Jane Bennet.

The outside of Longbourn, or Luckington Court as it is in real life, is where we see Elizabeth returning from her morning walk. You can see the photo I took is from a slightly different angle, and the house is actually more pink in colour. (I have deleted the number plate for reasons of privacy and security)

 

 

The view of the church from the back garden.

The church has a picture in the porch of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth inside during their marriage. (but oddly, not of Jane & Mr Bingley).

The Church.

      

As you can see, the inside of the church has not changed. If you look at the plaque on the back wall, you can see we are in the right place.

Inside the Church

 

It was nice to visit ‘Longbourn’, to picture Lizzy and all the Bennet’s running around trying to sort out the chaos that George Wickham and Lydia inflicted upon them, but it was also slightly sad.

To know that this house, so perfectly suited to a regency family, is now a modern home, with no screeching girls arguing about bonnets, or fashionable young gentlemen paying calls on maidenly misses. Having said that, it was nice to tread in the steps of some of my favourite actors too.

Till next time,

Martine x

* ~ * ~ * A Few Days in Bath * ~ * ~ *

I recently spent a few days in Bath. Although it was not my first visit, I decided to revisit some of the places I went to several years ago.

The first picture was taken in The Jane Austen Centre. I think Jane was a little prettier than the manakin, but it is nice to see ‘Jane’ back where she once was.

I met Mr Bennet. He was so very nice, even though he must have his pictures taken hundreds of times a week. And there is a very nice picture of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy.

                         

It was nice to see the fun side of the centre staff, when I visited the ladies powder room. We attended an in-depth talk telling us the history of Jane’s family and what happened to her siblings. Anne Elliot’s original costume from Persuasion was on display, and there is a blue English Heritage plaque on the spot where Jane and her elder sister Cassandra slept.

               

We had lunch in a lovely little bistro called Bridget’s Bakery. It was on the river with lovely views. Here are a few of the picture, including my lunch. (A delicious tuna sandwich and side salad)

           

We also visited the Royal Crescent, the gravel path where Jane walked for exercise, and the Assembly rooms.

 

And a visit to bath would not be complete without paying a visit to the grave of the man who encouraged Jane with her writing, her father.

                         

And finally, there is a cute little café just a few doors down from The Jane Austen Centre, and of course, it is called, Darcy’s News Café.

I hope you have enjoyed this snap shot of my few days in Bath. My next post will be some pictures of Netherfield, Longbourn, and the church where Mr Darcy and Lizzy Bennet married.

MJR

Martine x

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* We Did It! *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Dear All,

I  just wanted to write a brief post to let you all know that Mr Darcy’s Proposal, the 4th in my collection of Mr Darcy & Elizabeth Bennet books, has won the Book Cover of The Year 2018 award. Thank you to all who took the time to vote for my cover, and making this award a reality.

MJR xx

Is this the face of a Teenage Jane Austen?

Fascinating new evidence in the form of letters has come to light, and may unravel the true identity of this young woman..

In these letters, the portrait is referred to as that of Jane Austen. The artist is Ozias Humphry (http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozias_Humphry) and in his accounts of 1788, there is a bill for the portrait. He charged 13 Guinea’s. A vast amount at the time as a good maid only earnt £10 A YEAR!

 

Digital photographic analysis has revealed writing on the painting that appeared to show the novelist’s name, and also that of Humphry, as well as the date 1789.

This could finally prove that this is the actual face of Jane Austen, painted when she was a teenager of about 15.

It is now a matter of some urgency that this be proved, one way or another, whether this is a portrait of Jane Austen or not. Why, you may ask? Well, it has for some year had a license approved for it to be sold, even if the buyer is abroad. This would be a monumental loss to the UK.

Here is an article from The Guardian newspaper that brought attention to the issue again. There are several link in the article that are also interesting reads.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jan/23/jane-austen-family-say-note-establishes-disputed-portraits-identity?fbclid=IwAR1blv_6AiNL58P7AWylyehOINfrfCOkA6ZfTaMQg62uSGxEC4-iDbveDfc#img-1

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had the perfect Christmas and are ready to welcome 2019 with fresh goals. Having said that, I never make any New Year resolutions for one simple reason. I always tend to break them within a week or two. (me bad)

Anyway, I did want to share two pieces of exciting news with you;

First;

Mr Darcy’s Proposal won Book Cover of the Month, December, on Sassy Brits website. (www.alternative-reads.com)

Thanks to all my wonderful friends, family, readers and followers, we managed to see off all the competition and win this Award.

However, it has now been entered for Book Cover of the Year 2018!! YAY !

I hope you will all spare a few minutes of you busy days to pop over to Sassy’s website and vote for Mr Darcy’s Proposal.

It would be amazing if a JAFF author could win this.

To be clear, I don’t get any reward for winning, only a cyber medal similar to the one above and bragging rights, but I would still love to win it.

With your help, I might just do it.

Fingers crossed.

HOW TO VOTE;

Click on this link, scroll down until you come to the very small images of all the entries with a box above them. Click on the box for Mr Darcy’s Proposal and then press vote. Simple!

https://alternative-read.com/…/03/ar_cover-of-the-year-2018/

Second;

I have been persuaded to put three of my novels into Amazon KU & KOLL., UK site and American site only.  So, if you have Amazon Prime, you can read them for free. Yes, that’s right, FOR FREE.

They are;-

     

Mr Darcy’s Struggle                  Darcy to the Rescue                    To Love Mr Darcy

 

Thank you all so much for your help and continued support.

Martine x