Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Janeian New Year

Well, it’s officially 2013 (and Happy New Year to you, friends!) and the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice. I’ve been featuring some Jane Austen-related books in honor of the anniversary over the last few months and have more to discuss…but first, it was definitely a Jane Austen Christmas this year in the Doyle family, as several Jane Austen-related items were purchased as gifts for family members.

First, for my husband, who has reread Pride and Prejudice a scary number of times, the Pride and Prejudice Trivia Game!

I had to take it away from him before he read the cards and answered all the questions.

And this for my son, just for fun, from The Republic of Pemberley's CafePress store:

Lastly, there are a pair of Jane Austen-related books I want to tell you about today, one old and one just released. The newly released one, A Dance with Jane Austen: How a Novelist and her Characters went to the Ball by Susannah Fullerton, is just that: it discusses the social lives and dancing activities of both the author and her characters, along with enough general information to provide context for both. There is information on music and dance steps, of course, but also on what one wore, getting to and from the ball, ballroom etiquette, food and drink, public and private balls, and more.  Engagingly written and well supplemented with numerous illustrations and photographs; if you have the least interest in the topic, I highly recommend this book to you.

An old P&P-related favorite of mine came out some years ago, but is still definitely a goodie: Flirting with Pride and Prejudice, edited by Jennifer Crusie. It’s a light-hearted literary analysis by multiple authors, in the form of a compilation of short stories (fan fic, some of them), personal essays, brief but serious analyses, and original pieces that can’t be easily classified (Pride and Prejudice as a reality TV show was laugh-out-loud funny). It’s a great follow-up read to the original, for when you just can’t let go of Elizabeth and Darcy.

And speaking of Jane Austen…don’t forget that next week the cinematic Young Bluestockings will be gathering to discuss the 1995 release of Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant. Have you been able to watch it yet? Please come back next Tuesday and let us know what you thought of it!


Cara King said...

Thanks for talking about "A Dance With Jane Austen," Marissa! I hadn't heard about it, but now I've run off and ordered a copy. As someone who does period dance, I'm really interested to see the author's take on things!

And that trivia game sounds like great fun.... I might need to get one of those, too. :-)


Regina Scott said...

Okay, I seriously need to go shopping with you, Marissa. You find the best stuff!

Marissa Doyle said...

Regina: Muahahaha ha ha...!

Cara: I think you'll enjoy it--I liked the way it moved between Jane Austen's actual experiences at balls as gleaned from her letters to Cassandra to those of her characters, with broader information added in.

Stephsco said...

I just picked up Death at Pemberly, a post-P&P set mystery. I was so excited about it, but I made the mistake of looking at the Goodreads reviews and they are mediocre. Lots of disappointed readers. Bummer!!

Marissa Doyle said...

I found it hard to get into myself, Stephsco. While she writes splendid mysteries, I'm not P.D. James could capture Jane Austen's humorously satirical voice...and a tale about all those well-known characters without the humor didn't work for me.