Thursday, December 31, 2009

Everything Austen Concludes

Well it is time for me to sumarise my Everything Austen completion list those which I have completed off my initial list are noted with a star [completed 5 books off of my initial list and 4 films off of my initial list] Additionally below that enclosed within stars are the "extra credit" Jane Austen things I have done towards the Everything Austen Challenge which were not on the inital list:

Sense & Sensibility *
Pride & Prejudice *
Bridget Jones' Diary
Jane Austen's guide to dating
Persuasion *
Northanger Abbey *
Emma *

BBC Pride & Prejudice [Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle] *
Bridget Jones' diary *
Sense & Sensibility *
Pride & Prejudice [Keira Knightley & Matthew MacFadyen]
Lost in Austen *
Mansfield Park

Extra Credit Janite activities/books/films done after the inital list was drafted and posted:

***Jane Austen HOLIDAY---Visited Jane’s England including attending services at St. Nicholas Steventon where she was christened and on whose grounds she lived, going to Bath and seeing where she lived and attending High Tea at the Pump Room, visiting her home in Chawton where she lived and St. Nicholas church Chawton where she attended services whilst she lived there, staying at the Swan hotel where she attended the annual meetings of the Alton Book Society to which she subscribed, additionally I visited Winchester and saw the house where she died and Winchester Cathedral where she is laid to rest.***

***Watched Becoming Jane ***
** Watched the new BBC production of Emma starring Romola Garai***
**Read Remarkably Jane**
**Read Mansfield Park***
**Read Jane Austen’s Sewing Box**

***Attended the Virtual Pemberly Ball***

While I know that I will not be able to finish them I have also started
--The Darcys and the Bingleys [ which I won at the Pemberly Ball]
--Jane Austen Ruined My life

Happy New Year to one and all.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

In the last two weeks of Everything Austen challenge and Christmas is coming.

I know that it has been almost 3 weeks since my last post, between getting ready for Christmas around home and the holiday festivities at work (not to mention work itself) I have not had the time to blog my readings and goings on as I would have liked to. As the year is winding up and with Mansfield Park now behind me I am now closing in on the remaining items from my fairly long Everything Austen list, while I may not succeed as I have several novels left and with the craziness that is the Christmas season I may get sidetracked. While most of my reading over the past 4 months or so has centred on the challenge I have taken a few days off of the challenge to read a book that my friend has recently had published. I feel that this book is very good and they are justified in being proud of their work which has been many years in the making from conception through publication. In case my next post is delayed may I extend my glad tidings for a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mansfield moves slowly, and Pemberley prizes

I have been busy helping to organize charity Christmas bake sales and Christmas potlucks at work amongst my busy work schedule and have not had the time to devote to Mansfield Park as I would like to have but as I am using up some of my vacation days before the end of the year this weekend I hope to finish it and start on my last two books [Austenland and Bridget Jones] for the Everything Austen challenge next week. I was checking my non-work e-mail today and found out happily that after they had done the draws from the Pemberley Ball I have won "The Darcys and The Bingleys", hmm now if I finish the other books on my list and I am really good I can finish this up as extra credit for the Everything Austen challenge! : o )

Well I am off to eat and then to finish Mansfield Park before bedtime.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pemberley Ball

Returning to Mansfield Park after attending the Pemberley Ball

I took a break for the past 3 days in my reading for the Everything Austen challenge in order that I, as my alias Lady Elizabeth, might partake in the festivities at the Pemberley Ball and I quite enjoyed myself. Well now that the excitement of the ball has subsided I will again resume my reading of Mansfield Park.

vvb32 reads: Bright Star (2009) movie

vvb32 reads: Bright Star (2009) movie

Before watching the film, I picked up Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne with introduction by Director Jane Campion.

Just like the movie, exquisite.
vvb32 picked up a second copy for some lucky soul out there in the blogosphere.

Interested in receiving a bundle of Keats love letters? Check out the blog site for further details on entering the giveaway.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Northanger Abbey is finished through Persuasion

I apologize now for my near month’s hiatus from posting but I have been very busy and have just lost track of time. I have not, however, been neglecting my Everything Austen challenge list. In my last post I had only started Northanger Abbey, I finished the book a few days after my last post but I was sidetracked by Christmas crafts and the fill a Christmas Charity stocking project at work so, alas, I was so busy that I thought in the back of my mind that I had posted my comments about Jane Austen's Gothic Novel about Miss Catherine Morland and Mr. Henry Tilney. Catherine with her notion of abbeys being possessed of mystery and dark secrets is proved to be without merit in the reality of Northanger. In the end she succeeds in winning of the affection and hand of Mr. Henry Tilney. Having just recently visited Bath again and visited many of the very same places that Catherine and the others do it was quite interesting to reread the work with the pictures, smells and, dare I say tastes, of it still fresh in my memory. While it is not my favourite of Jane's novels, nonetheless I quite enjoyed Northanger Abbey.
Having left Northanger Abbey I continued on to Persuasion; while P&P will always be my favourite of Jane’s novels but for some reason I always teeter between whether Persuasion or S&S is my second favourite (often the teetering will come after I have just read one or the other). Persuasion shows how one can lose their true love but if that love is constant they can get a second chance at it. Anne Elliot is persuaded by her confidant Lady Russell to break off her engagement to the man she loves as the young man is without rank or fortune. When Frederick Wentworth returns some years later with a fortune that he has amassed out of his rising through the ranks of the navy and later proves his muster in the eyes of the same Lady Russell his character is only more firmly entrenched within Anne’s mind and heart. One of the reasons I like Persuasion is that it shows that true love and consistency of feeling within a person of good character will be rewarded and that money does not necessarily a man of character make [where as in most of Jane’s other novels it does: i.e. Darcy, Col. Brandon, Tilney]. I am now on to my next stop on the Everything Austen Challenge that of Mansfield Park and Miss Fanny Price.