Jan 302015
 

At Home with Jane Austen“Ah! There’s Nothing Like Staying Home for Real Comfort.”

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

As an ardent admirer of the impeccable research and informative prose found in Kim Wilson’s previous works – Tea with Jane Austen and In the Garden with Jane Austen – I was beyond excited to see she has yet again published another comprehensive and artfully arranged tome about Jane Austen’s life and time. Instead of focusing on tea or gardens, Kim Wilson takes readers on a virtual tour of the many places Jane Austen lived and visited, and gives insight to what she saw, did, and experienced in all these places. With one hundred and twenty color images and one hundred and forty-four pages filled with a bevy of information readers can truly see the places and sights that encompassed Jane Austen’s world. Continue reading »

May 152011
 

Stop and Smell the Roses with Jane Austen

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

(Note: This review is of the 2011 edition published by Frances Lincoln Limited, which is hard cover and includes seventy color photographs, twenty-five period drawings, and five garden plans.)

Kitchen gardens, extensive shrubberies, enchanting vistas, labyrinths, gothic seats, hermitages – wouldn’t you just love to live in Jane Austen’s time and have all these natural and picturesque settings surround you? While I love the modern conveniences and freedoms of the twenty-first century, part of me longs to live in a time where a large portion of a family’s food came from their backyard and walking in the garden was an almost daily activity. Spending most of her life in the country, Jane Austen was a great admirer of the outdoors and saw her fair share of beautiful and extensive gardens. Don’t you wish you could do the same? Wouldn’t you just love to go on a walking tour of English period gardens? Continue reading »

May 012011
 

Informative, Engaging, and Delectable

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

(Note: This review is of the 2011 edition published by Frances Lincoln Limited, which includes forty color and forty-five black and white illustrations.)

Tea is not just a soothing, aromatic beverage – in Jane Austen’s time it was a daily ritual, a social activity, an indication of status, and a literary device. Throughout Jane Austen’s novels and the novels of her contemporaries there is great significance placed on the purchasing, serving, and drinking of tea – some of which might be missed by modern readers. In her charming and elegant book, Tea with Jane Austen, Kim Wilson meticulously examines the inclusion and influence of tea in Jane Austen’s novels.

Tea with Jane Austen is divided into five chapters that discuss the different times, occasions, and locations to drink tea. For those of us who are not from England or are not very familiar with the customs of drinking tea there are many interesting bits of history and traditions to learn. I was amazed to learn that before tea was introduced to England, people drank ale with their breakfast. In addition, I found the practice of smuggling or selling used tea leaves to be both fascinating and disgusting. There are many other intriguing and amusing facts and opinions to be discovered in the quotes, passages, and letters cited in this book. Continue reading »