Jan 162019
 

Selfish Natures and Sharp Observations

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

I’ve finally made it…and it feels a long time coming! This is the sixth annotated edition I’ve read of a Jane Austen novel – a Christmas tradition I started back in December 2013! And this last one feels a significant triumph. One reason is because these last 3 weeks have been rather busy with holidays, travels, houseguests, and work obligations (not the best time to plan reading an 800+ page book!). Another reason is because Mansfield Park is the Jane Austen novel I’m least acquainted with – since I’ve only read it twice before and there has been a considerable amount of time since my last read… (over 10 years!). I’m happy to finally revisit with these old friends (not sure if the term ‘friends’ apply to to this group as many of them are insufferably selfish!) and read my sixth annotated edition! (For those who are interested in reading about my previous experiences reading an annotated Jane Austen work, see the bottom of this review.) Continue reading »

Dec 262018
 

An Informative Reference to Regency Christmastide Celebrations and Recipes

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Gift

Isn’t it wonderful when two things you love are combined? Like Jane Austen and Christmas? 🙂 I love reading Jane Austen-Inspired Christmas stories, and I am so happy that so many new ones are coming out each year! But in addition to decking the halls at Longbourn, sleigh riding at Pemberley, or seeing Mr. Darcy encounter the Ghost of Christmas Past, I love learning the real practices and traditions of how Christmas was celebrated during the Regency era. I’ve previously read two books that canvassed traditions of the Christmas season during Jane Austen’s time – Jane Austen’s Christmas: The Festive Season in Georgian England by Maria Hubert and A Jane Austen Christmas by Carlo DeVito, and both while enlightening in some aspects had a fair amount that disappointed or dissatisfied. Continue reading »

Apr 062018
 

Of Austen, Ancestry, and Adapting

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Gift from Author

Ever wonder what modern-day descendants of Jane Austen’s family think of her? What are their opinions on her work and celebrated fame? How does it feel to be related to one of the world’s most celebrated writers? How has it impacted or influenced their lives? If your answers are yes, here is a book for you.

Jane Austen’s fifth great-niece, Caroline Jane Knight, descendant of Jane’s brother Edward (who is responsible for bringing Jane to Chawton Cottage) candidly and courageously tells the story of her life in her memoir Jane and Me: My Austen Heritage. She shares in vivid detail the pleasures and delights of growing up in the ancestral home of Chawton House, an estate that has been in the Knight family for 400 years. But she also shares the heartbreaking account of how her family had to leave Chawton just after she turned seventeen and the uncertain and unexpected direction her life took after facing such an upsetting upheaval. This memoir tells of Caroline Knight’s journey – her memories, her successes, her challenges, and her discoveries. Continue reading »