Dec 152014


Happy Birthday Jane Austen!   (I know I’m a day early, but since I usually post on M, W, F – I thought it would be better to be a day early than a day late. 🙂

I’ve known you for 12 years and through those years you’ve grown to be a very big constant in my life.  I feel like I can turn to you for advice or consolation – when I feel incredibly stressed or need some comfort…you are always there when I need you! You made heroines that instructed me on how to live – through their mistakes and your gentle cautions, I’ve learned so much!   You created heroes that taught me about what love really is, and because of that I waited until my very own perfectly amiable and adorable Mr. Bingley came along!  You’ve brought so much joy, friendships, and blessings into my life and I’m eternally grateful!

And since I look at you as one of my dearest friends and loved ones, I’d like to do something special for your birthday!

If you were here today, Jane, we’d celebrate your birthday with a visit to the beach (I know how fond you are of the sea)


And as for a special dinner, Mr. Bingley and I would take you to one of our MOST favorite restaurants, Indochine (Thai and Vietnamese cuisine).  It is regarded as one of the best and most popular restaurants in our town (during summer months they’ve been known to have a 2 hour wait!) and has an outdoor seating area that makes you think you are far, far away from everything!  I think you would find it a very fun experience!  Such an atmospheric place with amazing food!

Image credit:

Image credit:

And over dinner, Mr. Bingley and I would share our story with you.  How we met and fell in love is a story I think you would enjoy, especially since you did sorta have a hand in it! 😉

And then we would return home where we would indulge in whatever you’d like – whether it be tea and talking, card and board games, or watching and rewatching your adaptations!  Happy birthday, dear Jane!



As a thank you to all the fantastic and wonderful readers of this blog, I’d like to giveaway some Jane Austen-Inspired gifts!  You all are amazing!  Thank you so much for being such an encouraging, supportive, and friendly bunch! xoxo

I’m giving away ONE NEW Jane Austen Action Figure (would look fab on a bookshelf!) ONE NEW paperback of Just Jane by Nancy Moser and ONE NEW paperback of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James (two wonderful biographical fiction works about Jane Austen’s life!)


Just Jane  The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen

To enter these giveaways just leave a comment below sharing what you would plan to do with Jane Austen to celebrate her birthday!  Where would you go?  Eat?  Talk about?

  • One prize per winner.
  • Please indicate in your comment what prize you’d like to win (you can pick more than one, just leave one comment)
  • This giveaway is open to residents worldwide.  
  • The giveaway ends December 22nd.
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  96 Responses to “Happy 239th Birthday Jane Austen + GIVEAWAY!!!”


    I loved reading your birthday appreciation
    to Jane Austen! I would like to take her to my favorite bookstore and show her all the myriad editions of her novels and the shelves of the fan fiction and then walk home to watch some of the incredible film adaptations of her works and finally have
    the dinner of her choice – all the while getting to know her. What a fantasy!
    Back to the real world, I would like to win
    either of the books so much. Thank you
    for the goveaway…and the dreaming.


    I think Jane would love to spend her birthday with you and Mr. Bingley. If she doesn’t, can I come instead?

    I’d ask Jane what she’d like to do … regency country dancing maybe …. or maybe we’ll find a place to people watch and we can sit with a glass of wine and talk about how things are different and yet still he same for all the 200+ years between us. If I’m lucky maybe she’ll tell me how the Watsons would have ended.

    I would love the action figure. She’s awesome. There are too many Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures in my house … I need to push back with a Jane action figure, complete with book and quill.

    Thanks Meredith, and happy birthday Jane!


      Thank you, Heather! LOL! You are always welcome! 🙂 Yes, would you please try to get the answer to that question out of her, I’d love to know!

      HAHA! A push back is definitely called for!


    I think I’d invite Jane over my house for a cup of tea and just sit and talk and pick her brain so to speak. I’d love Syrie James’ novel The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen!


    What a fun idea! I would love to go out to lunch with Jane. I would have to tell her how I love her books and find myself quoting her in my life. I think I would talk to her and just find out what she is interested in at the moment and just enjoy the time getting to know her. What a fun thought.


    I know Jane loved to walk and enjoyed nature so maybe we could take a walk. I think Watkins Glen State Park would enthrall her with its watefalls and woods. There is a beautiful restaurant there on the shore of the Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes I would love to tell her how much I love her works and have my own Mr. Darcy.


      That sounds so lovely, Debbie! My grandparents used to live on Cayuga Lake, I loved it up there – very beautiful! I bet she would love hearing about your Mr. Darcy!


    Sorry, Meredith, forgot to say Thank you for the generous give away. And any one of the gifts is fine.


    I would like to spend the day with her in the Regency era in her home listening to her talk about her life and writing skills and why she picked the topics to write about and then perhaps take her and Cassandra out to a local eatery and treat them to a nice meal. Thank you the the chance to win one of the great prizes and which ever one is fine with me. I also would like to tell her how great her talents were and are still to this day. My favorite author of all times!


    If I could celebrate Jane Austen’s birthday with her, I would bring her to my home. We would watch the various tv and movie adaptions of her books and eat pizza. She would experience what it is to be a 21st century girl – no responsibilities, no planning a meal, no performance, a meal delivery. I think she would love sitting back, sipping wine, and watching her books come to life. I would really like the Jane Austen figure as she could sit on my desk and we could carry on a one sided conversation; however, I would be happy with any of your prizes. Thank you for the giveaways.


    Happy Birthday, my dear Jane! It would be so wonderful to meet you for tea either in Lyme, CT, or Mystic, CT, both on the American-side of the Atlantic. Later we could walk along the beach, even though it is winter (the snow has not yet arrived). I would really love the action figure to put on my book shelves ;-)!


    Hi there Meredith! I came to Jane Austen’s works over twenty years ago now and they instantly resonated with the then teenage Ceri, but a few years later a read a book of excerpts from her letters and fully appreciated her sense of humour. If I could ever travel back in time I’m going to visit Jane as she seems like the type of person I’d really love spending time with. I’d show her all the products and books her work inspired, give her some Bronte books to read to see what she thought of them and then, inspired by this quote “…I find many Douceurs in being a sort of chaperon, for I am put on the Sofa near the Fire & can drink as much wine as I like.” We’d have some nice food and wine and a good old chin-wag by the fire (can you tell I’m feeling cold?!).

    I already have the Nancy Moser book so I’d like to enter for the other prizes, please, preferably Action Jane!


    Ah, that’s sweet! Hmm, let’s see…Mr. Tilney and I would take Jane ice skating down at our city’s little rink and visit the Warming Shed for hot cocoa and cookies from the ladies at the Historical Society afterward. Then we would walk back through our old streets looking at Christmas lights and decorations until we arrived at our little home. At home, we would shed the layers before the fireplace, have a few other friends over for fondues, finger food snacks, lively conversation and group games. I would also pull Miss Jane aside for a little tete a tete to ask her to share just how does Sanditon finish. Haha!

    Lovely prizes, Meredith! Love visiting your blog. Hmm, I have Lost Memoirs, but I would love to win either of the other two prizes. Thanks for the opportunity.


      What a lovely idea, sophia! It sounds like it would be such a lovely and happy day! I’d love to learn her ideas for Sanditon too! I’m sure she would be able to do a little bit of story-telling on the spot!


    I would let her choose how she wants to spend the day– always the birthday girl’s choice! 🙂
    Happy Birthday Jane Austen! Much love XOXO.
    I would LOVE the Jane Austen doll! Ahhhh! It’s so awesome!


    I would love a copy of Just Jane. Happy birthday Jane! We would go to an assembly ball of course and dinner would be served there as well.


    OK, assuming I didn’t come over all fan girl and giggle or clam up completely, I’d like to take her to the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth (not far from us) and have a proper afternoon tea somewhere, then back home for an evening, or possibly an all nighter, of DVDs. I wonder what she would have made of Colin Firth’s wet shirt (or Dan Stevens’). It would be fantastic to find out what she would think about the adaptations that have been made of her works.

    I’d love to win either of the books. I have a slight, um, well, phobia isn’t quite the right word, shall we say dolls or figures aren’t my thing?


    What fun it would be to spend the day with Jane Austen on her birthday….your plans sound like a great day…thanks for the giveaway celebrating our favourite lady…I would like the action figure or Just Jane as I have the Lost Memoirs* (a great read by the way)
    Happy Birthday, Miss Austen…


    I would try not to faint if I could spend a birthday with JA (I know she detests that;). I would be tempted to take her to Times Square just to people watch and hear her comments. However, I would not want to frighten her away from the future. I would take JA to the white beaches in Florida. She would run barefoot through the sand and wade into the crystal clear waters. She would laugh out loud as the sun bathed her face. Then I would transport her to parts of the Appalachian Trail. She would walk softly in reverence of the beauty before her. Before our day ends, we would find a spot to satisfy her sweet tooth. I would gift her with a journal that has enough pages she wouldn’t have to write sideways or around the creases. I would respect her privacy, no pictures and no sharing details of our day together.
    Thank you for the giveaway. I would like the action figure


    I like the idea of letting the birthday girl chose but we must show her how her books have inspired hundreds of variations, prequels and sequels plus myriad of other products. Where did you find a doll? Afternoon tea is a must with home baked goodies…I have a good scone recipe. And why not watch a movie…Colin Firth? Then show her all those dating services on the Internet. What would she make of those? I hope she would get a kick out of them. Yes, I would also love to know exactly how her 2 unfinished books were fleshed out although she did give some resolution hints about the one, didn’t she? Happy Birthday, dear Lady.


      Yes, Sheila! She must know her amazing influence on so many lives!!! The doll is for sale on amazon and According to Cassandra we know some hints about The Watsons, but that is not enough!! 🙂


        You can also get action Jane from the Jane Austen Centre. It’s on special offer this weekend, 20% off. They ship worldwide, but I don’t know how much shipping costs.


    Happy Birthday Miss Jane Austen! What a delight and honour it would be to spend this day with her. I’d like to take her for lunch at one of our lovely restaurants in town before heading out to some of our lovely wineries for some wine tasting. Back home we could sit with a cup of tea and pastries watching the adaptations of her books. I think I would start with the 1995 A&E version of Pride Prejudice. I would like her opinion on Colin Firth’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy. I would also like her to see ‘Lost in Austen’. Then, if she didn’t think I was being rude, I would ask who she based her characters on in her novels. Somehow, I think I would get all tongue-tied…

    Thank you for the giveaway! It’s funny you should offer up the Jane Austen action figure. I just ordered mine last night from Amazon (Sheila that is where you can get it). I have ‘The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen’ and it is an excellent read! I don’t have ‘Just Jane’ though…


    I would escort Jane around our modern world to catch all of her reactions to our way of life, especially in the male-female relationships!!
    I would like to win Just Jane….
    Thank you!!!


    Lovely post, Meredith. I like your thoughts for time spent with Jane on her birthday. I bet she would like the restaurant.

    I think I would like to take Jane for a walk in the woods around my home. Then maybe we could do a little bird watching and talk about her books at the same time. I would love to know if there was anyone in mind when writing Mr. Darcy and Captain Wentworth.

    Should I win, my first preference would be for the Jane Austen Action Figure and then either of the other two.

    Thanks for sharing and for having gifts for the birthday celebration! 🙂


      Thank you, Janet!! That sounds like a lovely idea! I bet the woods are lovely!! And it would be interesting to know if she had a Mr. Darcy or Captain Wentworth in her life. 🙂


    I plan on rereading the Marvel Comic version of Pride&Prejudice. It’s a really good comic book, and most of the dialogue is the same from the book. I think I might watch the movie again, too. Definitely grateful she wrote these books… I’ve never really had anyone to look up to before until I read this… and it gives me hope. Not unlike this blog entry I read 🙂


    I would want to have tea and just talk! Maybe go on a stroll.
    I would love the action figure and Just Jane. Well I would love them all.
    Love your blog! Let’s have cake!


    I think maybe a long walk in the country followed by some tea next to a nice fire (it is chilly) and a chat about books and writing. That’s my selfish request of her so we’d do what she wants the rest of her day.

    I’ve always wanted one of those Jane figures!! I really love Syrie James too.


    I would love to take Jane for a walk in the Vondelpark in Amsterdam. I often think about her when I am there. We’ll have to fly afterwards to Rome to eat a nice pasta. I don’t know if I would be able to talk to her, maybe I’ll just listen to whatever she wants to share with me. I would love the Jane action figure. Thanks!


    Hi Meredith

    What a lovely post, felt quite emotional when I was reading it. After a very stressful day or just a feeling down day there is nothing better to lift your spirits and read a JA book. If I could meet Jane, I would definitely show her the 1995 DVD of P & P and asked what she thought of the characters who played the parts. Also I would love to just spend hours talking to her. I think she would be a fascinating person and tell her how much we all love her books and definitely show her your blog Meredith. I would love the action figure to go with my other P & P memorabilia. Thank you Meredith, you have cheered me up X


      Thank you, Michelle! I agree – Jane Austen is always someone to turn when you need to be cheered up. 🙂 You are so sweet to want to show her my blog, Michelle! *hugs* I’m glad our little dreaming brought you a smile!


    Happy Birthday Jane! I just received Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron and I plan on honoring Jane’s birthday delving into her latest mystery. I would love to win Syrie James book. Huzzah!


    I’d take Jane on a day trip to the seaside (or lakeside in my area), where we could picnic and people watch Lizzie Bennet style and watch for a Mr. Darcy or Captain Wentworth to stroll by.

    Would love to win the Jane action figure.


    OH, BTW: watched the 1995 version of P&P over the weekend and am now in the midst of the 2005 version. Also have Greer Garson and Elizabeth Garvie (1985) versions so will watch them as my own private celebration during this week.


    Thank you so much for the giveaway any of the items would be wonderful. I would love to see if her and my son are similar in anyway as they share the same birthday.


    I would have tea with her at my house and talk to her about her life. I have always been curious as to why she first accepted and than recjected the marriage proposal and would like to ask her about that.


    I would show her the biggest bookstore in town and the smallest. Take her to a tea that is considered “properly English” 😉 and just talk to her. Happy birthday Jane! You have changed so many minds and affected so many lives.


    If I could spend a day with dear Jane, it would be here in my hometown…Ligonier PA. I’m fortunate to live in such a picturesque town. We would stroll around the diamond and visit many of the shops…including the second hand bookstore of course. Many chooses for lunch, but I’d probably choose the Kitchen on Main. Everything there is simply delicious. And we would talk, and talk, and talk. Well, I’d hope she would talk and I could just listen. I’d love to get to know her and see if what I imagine her to be like is true. I’d love to win the action figure for my book shelves. Thanks!


    Here in Tucson, Arizona, Jane and I would road trip to Mexico and try to find her books in Spanish. Margaritas would definitely be involved.

    I would love the new action figure to keep my old action figure company 🙂


    Thanks for the giveaway! This birthday post is so cute. I would go to England to celebrate and we would have to have a dance. <3


    We would watch P&P with Colin Firth. I would love to win the Jane doll.


    Happy birthday to Jane! I would love to just sit and talk with her, somewhere we can eat yummy food and people-watch.

    Meredith, your post is so sweet! We all love you to bits. (I’m already counting down til JASNA when I can finally meet folks in person!) Thank you for the giveaway. I’d love to have the Jane Austen action figure!


    We would go for a very long walk, and we would talk – about everything.

    Thank you for this giveaway – I already own a JA Action Figure (aren’t I lucky?!), and Syrie James’ book (well, all of Syrie James’ books), but would love to have a copy of “Just Jane”.

    Happy Birthday, Jane!!


    Wouldn’t that be a dream-come true!
    Hmmmm! A drive through her beloved Hampshire and a LONG talk about ‘First Impressions’ over dinner at The Vyne? (But we would definitely avoid driving through a certain bright-yellow car park in Basingstoke 😀 )

    Thanks for the gorgeous giveaway, I’d love to win Syrie’s book!
    Have a lovely December and a great Jane Austen Day!


      LOL! Joana, I love you! 🙂 So funny! Your idea sounds perfect! I don’t think we’d ever run out of things to talk about with Jane Austen, do you? Thanks for stopping by and sharing in on our celebration!


    I would have tea with her and then go get cheesecake.I would love Just Jane or The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen.


    my wife is looking for a new wonderful group of books to read this would be amazing. thankyou, ken


    I think spending a day with Jane, on her birthday or any other random day, would be fabulous. I think I’d first want to introduce her to food she would never have had (quite like your Thai idea!), probably sushi! I’d want to people watch with her as it is something she and I both enjoy and then maybe share a bottle of wine or a pot of tea and talk about what her dreams were that never got realized and how many of her characters were real people lost to history. hmmmm thanks for that moment of fantasy. Amazing that her brilliance still shimmers, ever brighter, in 2014 than it did during her lifetime.


      I bet our food would be a strange and wondrous experience for her! Sushi is awesome too! I’d love to know Jane Austen’s dreams. It was fun to fantasize, wasn’t it?


    What a heartfelt post! To have Jane Austen see first-hand how her novels still delight and warm our hearts all these years later would be the GREATEST gift of all! But watching some adaptations of her novels would be the best treat of all! What would she think of the casting choices? Who played the best Elizabeth Bennett? Oh, how we can only ponder her answers…but what a delight it would be! Cheers to you, dear Jane!


    Happy Belated Birthday to Jane Austen who changed my lfe…though I think I was destined to have her novels somehow thrown on my path *__* . I went to to the university as usual and I think it is seomthing she woudl have love to see…since women back then were not allwoed in uni. I would love to meet her and ask her thousands of questiosn that i will write beforehand in case I forget something. I will bring her to the Beach in France and make her visit Paris and my country of origin too.I love your picture of beach Meredith 🙂


    Hmm… if I don’t faint and I’m able to have a normal conversation, I would love to go to a ball with Jane, so she may have some recollections of her past life to share with me. And I would show her how her work influenced the life of many women! Starting with the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth! 😛
    Thanks for the giveaway, Meredith! 🙂 Any of the gifts is fine.


    I would like to take Jane to dinner and a (contemporary romance) movie and coffee afterwards to talk about the movie. I would be curious to hear her take on modern day romance.

    Would love the Jane doll 😉


    I’d love to invite Jane over my house for a cup of tea and eating homemade cookies.Happy Birthday to Jane Austen!


    If she were alive today, I plan to take her to my favourite bookstore and show her the different editions and cover design of her works. Then I will also take her to another section where novels or books inspired by her life and stories are displayed. Then we will sit down for a cup of tea and snacks in a cafe and talk about lots of things. I would love to hear her thoughts on everything. Then I’ll take her home and show her my collection of her books and JAFF published writing. Then we’ll unwind by watching the various adaptations whether it’ll be Regency or modern films.

    I would like to be entered for the Jane Austen action figure. Thanks for your generosity, Meredith. 🙂

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