Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Sourcebooks last minute Holiday Gift offer

 

Sourcebooks has announced a last-minute discount on Austen-inspired fiction just in Abigail The Man Who Lovedtime for those presents you still haven’t bought, Sharon Trouble With Mr Dor as a special treat as you relax this Christmas. Among the novels discounted a whopping 25% are Austen Authors Sharon Lathan,  Abigail Reynolds, Jane Odiwe, Susan Adriani, Monica Fairview, Jack Caldwell, Mary Lydon Simonsen, C. Allyn Pierson, Nina Benneton and several others including Amanda Grange. You have to purchase through their Discover A New Love site and enter the promotion code AUSTEN when checking out to get your discount. You don't need to be a member and the discount is good through Dec. 31. Click here to go to Sourcebooks.

Darcy Cousins

ThreeColonels_CVR.indd

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Austen Authors Novels

Good news. If you’ve been thinking of picking up one of these Austen Authors novels but were put off  by the hefty price tag, our publisher Sourcebooks has agreed to bring down the price of the e-books down for a short time.

They're now on sale now for a fraction of the usual price, so this is your chance to try one or several authors you haven’t tried before.

And if you like them, don’t forget to click the Like button on Amazon or even write a short review to help people know about your favorites.
Susan Adriani
The Truth About Mr. Darcy by Susan Adriani

The Darcys and the Bingleys by Marsha Altman

Compulsively Mr. Darcy by Nina Benneton

Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma by Diana Birchall

The Three Colonels by Jack Caldwell
fairviewThe Darcy Cousins by Monica Fairview

Darcy's Decision by Maria Grace

Miss Darcy Falls in Love by Sharon Lathan

Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister by C Allyn Pierson

What Would Mr. Darcy Do? by Abigail Reynolds

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud
Simonsen
Mr. Darcy's Bite by Mary Lydon

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Jane Austen’s Rogues: An Austenesque Extravaganza Event

Travelling Tuesday logo
It’s Travelling Tuesday on Austenesque Extravaganza, and here you are on one of the three stops you will be taking on your journey. On any Regency-era journey, you’ll find it essential to halt at inns along the way to exchange your horses and partake of refreshments. On this particular journey, you will be partaking in a refreshing exchange of opinions regarding the nature of Jane Austen’s Rogues. Your three inns today are The Birchall, The Adams and The Fairview.

With clearly premeditated planning, some Rogues have caused a boisterous altercation at each of the three inns. Hopefully the altercations will be dealt with quickly or we will need to request the intervention of our kind landlady Meredith of Austenesque Reviews.

Meanwhile, to assess the situation, we have asked one of our innkeepers, a Ms. Alexa Adams, the Authoress of a volume entitled First Impressions: A Tale of Less Pride and Prejudice to provide us with her impressions of the afore-mentioned Rogues in the hope of shedding light on their identities.We have also asked Ms. Adams to explain to us how Jane Austen defines villainy. 


Ms. Adams, who are Jane Austen’s Rogues? What do you consider their greatest sins? What punishments have they been given? Do you think any of the said Villains is too agreeable to be punished?

I think the villain I like best is Henry Crawford, because he is wise enough to value Fanny Price as she deserves. It's really a toss up between him and Mr. Elliot, who gets credit for not really being more than an inconvenience, as no one, except perhaps Mr.  Shepard, truly mourns the loss of Mrs. Clay's virtue. Were I asked this question when I first read Austen's books, I would undoubtedly have chosen either Willoughby or Wickham, for they are the most dashing (and the most dangerous), but time has wearied my patience for such creatures. My least favorite is John Thorpe, who I instinctively dislike, his behavior forever making me nauseous.

To return to the question of how Austen defines villainy, I must wonder if John Thorpe, no matter how unpleasant I find him, is truly a villain. He causes a great deal of mischief for entirely selfish reasons, first convincing General Tilney of Catherine's wealth, and then later of her poverty, but I think Diana is correct in noting General Tilney as the  true villain of the piece. It is he who transgresses the laws of  hospitality in expelling Catherine from his home. While he suffers no real consequences for this action, had Catherine come to harm as a result, we must assume that even people as placid as Mr. and Mrs. Morland would have sought some sort of justice.

Isabella Thorpe certainly pays the price for her indiscretions, another example of a woman suffering far more than a man does for the same crime, but it is notable that Austen does not lament such gender inequalities in Northanger Abbey, as she does in Mansfield Park. Perhaps she had yet to consider the question deeply when she wrote NA, and MP reflects a more mature position on the subject? Regardless of her feelings on the fairness of social mores, she continuously advocates the importance of adhering to them, and those characters that transgress are the ones she most thoroughly punishes. This inevitably results in her female characters suffering the greatest from sexual violations, as this is where society imposed the most limitations upon them. So it is that John Willoughby, though guilty of seduction, marries an heiress and has only to regret not having a more pleasant wife, while the poor girl he abandoned must live forever as an outcast.
Sense_and_sensibility
Lucy Steele, as vile as she is, never really does commit any great sin in society's eyes. She should not have eloped, but such sins are forgivable, a notion which helps me to rationalize her rewards. Maria Bertram, on the other hand, is irredeemable, for she has broken her marriage vows. Mrs. Clay's sins are of a lesser variety, being a widow, and so Austen holds out hope she may win the prize and someday marry Mr. Elliot after all. Lydia Bennet, whose actions are really the result of stupidity, she restores, righting the wrongs of society by negating the repercussion to that lady, and forcing Wickham to take responsibility for what he has done. That is perhaps Austen's most satisfying solution to this issue. Let the punishment fit the crime!

I think it interesting that Emma is the only Austen novel without a true villain, the heroine largely serving as her own foil. Frank Churchill plays a double game, but all he is guilty of is misrepresentation (as is Jane Fairfax), and the Elton's are little more than snobs who receive their just deserts. We might enjoy seeing many characters suffer more than they do, like Caroline Bingley or Mrs. Elton, but Austen continuously makes sure that the rewards or punishments of her characters are not dictated by petty vengeance, but rather the rules of her reality. When the censure of the world is not great enough, she relies on emotional turmoil to make the punishment adequate. This leads me to complete the quote on Henry Crawford that Diana began:
"... we may fairly consider a man of sense, like Henry Crawford, to be providing for himself no small portion of vexation and regret: vexation that must rise sometimes to self-reproach, and regret to wretchedness, in having so requited hospitality, so injured family peace, so forfeited his best, most estimable, and endeared acquaintance, and so lost the woman whom he had rationally as well as passionately loved."
Austen makes sure Henry Crawford suffers for his misdeeds, if it be only in mind and not body, which helps rectify the gender inequalities from which he benefits. Nevertheless, I would caution against attributing any feelings of pity for Maria Rushworth to Austen, remembering that she also compounds that lady's punishment by making Aunt Norris her only companion.

Wickham, Willoughby, and Mr. Elliot all share similar fates, doomed by those they are forced to keep company.

It is through self-reproach that Austen punishes her parental characters who fail in their guardianship. Mr. Bennet, having disregarded Elizabeth's warnings, fully bears the responsibility for Lydia's bad behavior. He even acknowledges how deserving he is of such pain: "...let me once in my life feel how much I have been to blame." Sir Thomas Bertram suffers far more intensely for his failures, all the more poignant  because he was actually trying to be a good father, and Mrs. Norris, Austen's worst guardian, becomes just as great an exile as her niece. Sir Walter Elliot loses his social status, Lady Catherine a husband for her daughter, but General Tilney, to return to my earlier point, never pays a price for his poor parenting. Furthermore, while he can be fairly called a villain (as can Mrs. Norris), I don't think the label appropriate to Mr. Bennet, Sir Thomas, Sir Walter, or even Lady Catherine. What is Lady Catherine guilty of, after all, but being intolerably officious? She is certainly not in the same league as Willoughby, who I think the most reprehensible of Austen's rogues.

 
In parting, Ms. Adams has insisted that Ms. Fairview, innkeeper at The Fairview, should answer the following questions most urgently, in order to determine how to deal with the worst of the culprits.

1. Who do you think was punished most severely?
This one is easy. Caroline Bingley, because she didn’t get her Mr. Darcy!

2. Who do you think gets let off most easily?
I think Jane Austen was often too forgiving of her gentleman Rogues, especially of Willoughby. He seduced a young girl and abandoned her without a backward glance. Not the first man to do it, but we get to look at the consequences and of course Brandon’s behaviour is meant to be a contrast to the callous wretch who backbites Brandon when the Major goes off to help poor Eliza, and complains that their outing has been ruined. He then goes on to dump Marianne for an heiress. So yes, I’m with Alexa on that.

I agree with Diana Birchell, too, that Wickham gets off much too easily as well.

3. Do you think the women get a worse punishment than the men?
Yes. Take Pride and Prejudice, for example. Who is the worse of the two: Caroline Bingley, who’s looking for a rich husband, or Wickham, who would have abandoned Lydia to the London slums if Darcy hadn’t paid him off? Yet most readers actively dislike Caroline Bingley, while smiling indulgently at Wickham’s awful behavior. That tells you something about the book’s perspective.  

4. If you got to rewrite the ending of any of the novels, who would you choose to punish and why?
I’d punish Willoughby by having the heiress refuse to marry him and by having him involved in a scandal with the wife of an Important Person. The Important Person would challenge him to a duel, but since Willoughby is a very good shot he would kill the Important Person and would consequently be forced to flee to the Continent to escape the law and die there in disgrace and poverty.

I suspect Jane Austen wouldn’t have liked that ending, though. Much too melodramatic. 

Don’t forget to stop at the other inns along the way to uncover more information about the intriguing Rogues who torment the lives of Jane Austen’s characters. Your next stop on Travelling Tuesday will be involve meeting Diana Birchall, authoress of Mrs. Elton in America and Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma and of a charming story called “Jane Austen’s Cat” in Jane Austen made Me Do It. Please continue to The Birchall’s Inn, where Ms. Birchall will be hosting the elusive Ms. Monica Fairview who on this occasion has a great deal to say about JA’s Outrageous Rogues.

Meanwhile, please let me know who your Worst and Best Rogues in Jane Austen are. Do you think they get the punishments they deserve?


Monday, 17 September 2012

Downton Abbey Series 3 has started!

The long-awaited moment has arrived. Series 3 of Downton Abbey is here!
 
My verdict on the first episode?
 
Hard to talk about it without adding spoilers, but I can summarize it by saying that it's off to a good start. Enough tension to keep you interested, a moment that brought a tear to my eye, and some great dynamics with Shirley Maclain entering the frey, the Dowager holding her own, and Matthew's mother putting up a good fight. Overall I'd give it **** stars, mainly because it took me a few minutes to get back into it. Other than that, a familiar, comfortable thing to watch, with the usual wonderful cast and everyone still in character. Looking forward to more!
 


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Austenesque Extravaganza coming up!

Austenesque Extravaganza Master Schedule
A whole month celebrating Jane Austen, Jane Austen sequels, films, and all the things you enjoyed.

I'll be appearing on September 18th for a discussion with authors Diana Birchells and Alexa Adams on The Rewards of Rogues in Austen. Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

Monday, 13 August 2012

London 2012 Olympics Over

So very sad to say goodbye to the London 2012 Olympics. I loved every moment. Many thanks to the brilliant athletes out there from all over the world.

I’ll still be catching up on several events on my BBC i-player, though, so it’s not completely over yet. And I have tickets for the Paralympics. Hurray!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Jane Austen and the Red House

20120715_11481820120715_122845I'm blogging today at Austen Authors. I follow in the footsteps of the young Jane Austen when she goes to visit her uncle Frank. To learn more about the story of the pictures below, go to Walking with Austen: Sevenoaks and the Red House. The pictures below are some extra pictures I decided to put up here.
Six Bells Lane 820120715_115934
20120715_11560720120715_115800
20120715_12032320120715_115857

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Cast the Next Adaptation of Pride & Prejudice

Cast the Next Adaptation of Pride & Prejudice

Who would you cast in the new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. A fun poll on Austen Authors.

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Other Mr. Darcy featured

I'm very happy to say that The Other Mr. Darcy is now being featured on Austenticity, a blog by fellow Austen Author Sally Smith O'Rourke. Please drop by her blog to say hello and see pictures of different rooms in Chawton as well as to hear music Jane Austen may have played.


Sally is the author of The Man Who Loved Jane Austen.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Learning to Manage Online

This weekend I attended a very informative talk by Talli Roland at SE Chapter of the Romantic Novelist’s Association. She talked about marketing our books online, and suggested several ways we could reach out to our readers. A lot of the things she mentioned I already knew (in general), since I’m on several online social networks and have had this blog for a while, but I learned a lot anyway. I came away scratching my head (not because I have lice, I assure you). According to Talli, she spends about ten minutes on social networks for every two hours that she writes. Now that’s discipline! Once I get into facebook and twitter I tend to forget myself and scroll through all the messages and read up on what my friends have been doing, and before I know it an hour has passed and I haven’t gotten any writing done. Consequently, I stay away from the media because I don’t seem to be able to reconcile the two. Talli Roland and Juliet Archer

Consequently, the key two things I learned from Talli’s talk are not necessarily what she may have wanted me to learn. Here they are, though:

1. Manage your time very strictly, and make sure most of your time is going into writing, but be consistent about reaching out.  This means timing yourself and using social media as a break rather than a focus. So, here I am, back on my blog again, but I’m going to make my blogs shorter.

2. Keeping up with everything is hard work, and there are no shortcuts, but overdoing things isn’t the way to go about it. I realize that I really do spend a lot of time on doing research for blogs, etc. which perhaps isn’t time well spent. All research should be relevant to what I’m writing and shouldn’t be research to put on a blog, even though I love doing the research.

Not sure how this will work, but perhaps you can let me know how I’m doing as we go along Winking smile

 

Talli with fellow Austen spin-off author Juliet Archer