Mar 022016

The Chronicles of Downton AbbeyAs Informative As It Is Elegant

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Gift from Mom 🙂

As a Downton Abbey addict, I love the idea of a companion novel that combines the spirit and stunning visuals of the program with interesting history and facts about these characters and the time period they lived in. A few years ago I read and thoroughly enjoyed The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes and I’m so delighted to see that she has followed up that first companion novel with three more!!

As a person who loves character-driven stories, analyzing personalities, and studying character development I was so pleased to see this edition focuses more on the characters of Downton Abbey. Divided into sixteen chapters, this book highlights nineteen characters that viewers encounter during seasons 1-3, the final chapter is a bonus Behind the Scenes chapter! Besides dozens of glossy images, these chapters provide insight and background for each major character in the series. Readers learn more about their motivations, behaviors, responsibilities, and limitations. Continue reading »

Jan 082016


“Happy those, who can remain at Highbury.”

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

It has become my tradition these last three years to read an annotated edition of a Jane Austen work during the holiday break. After thoroughly enjoying the experience with Harvard University Press’s Pride and Prejudice: An Annotated Edition in 2013, I decided to give another Harvard University Press edition a try. And this year my choice must definitely be Emma, after all we did just celebrate its bicentennial!

My rating of 4 stars is for the annotations and comments provided by Bharat Tandon, for Jane Austen’s novel alone my rating would be 5+ stars. I think Emma is a brilliant masterpiece and, depending on my mood, often designate it as my most favorite Jane Austen novel.

Here are some of the insights and understandings I learned while reading Bharat Tandon’s’ annotations: Continue reading »

Nov 272015

A Jane Austen ChristmasVisiting Jane Austen During the Holiday Season

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

When it comes to Jane Austen and Christmas, Janeites and Austen-lovers long to know how their beloved authoress celebrated the holiday season. Many of the holiday traditions we celebrate and recognize come from the Victorian Era and later, but what about the Georgian Era? What are the differences and similarities between the Austens’ holiday festivities and our own modern-day celebrations?

In A Jane Austen Christmas, Carlo DeVito illustrates six different and significant Christmas seasons in Jane Austen’s life. Each chapter is devoted to a different year and expounds upon not only the special event that occurred that year but also the traditions and festivities the Austens would take part in and practice during that time. The six years and a breakdown of each chapter is below. Continue reading »