What Would Elinor Do?


Sense and Sensibility IllustratedWe were delighted to have the Jane Austen Bicentenary Library edition of Sense and Sensibility featured this month by the Jane Austen Centre at Bath’s online magazine!

And since we had to make another bracelet (we had made our own on a whim) to photograph for the tutorial, we have a giveaway to celebrate this special issue: the bracelet we made in the tutorial, along with a copy of the Jane Austen Bicentenary Library edition of S&S: ebook or paperback–your choice. To enter the contest, leave a comment below, with a valid e-mail address in the e-mail address field (only the Editrix will be able to see it, and we need it to contact you should you win to find out where to send your prize). The bracelet is about seven inches long; if you need a bigger or smaller bracelet, we can remake it if you win, so don’t let that keep you from entering the giveaway. ETA: Please post your entry by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Saturday, April 28! In other words, right before midnight, which is technically Sunday, April 29.

ETA: The ebook is available from your favorite ebook store (try searching on “Margaret C. Sullivan” or “Cassandra Chouinard” to find this particular edition) or directly from Girlebooks or Smashwords.

The paperback is available from Librifiles, the hard-copy publishing arm of Girlebooks. See the link for a 20% off code if you buy from Librifiles, and there is a link there to Amazon. It’s also available from B&N.

Thanks as always to Laura Boyle, editor of the JA Centre’s magazine, for featuring the book. It is always fun to have the opportunity to think about Jane Austen’s novels and to write about thinking about Jane Austen’s novels, if that makes sense!

Crafting with Lucy Steele


Quilling SnowflakesEver wondered about this reference to “filigree” in Sense and Sensibility (Vol. II, Ch. I [23])?

“I am glad,” said Lady Middleton to Lucy, “you are not going to finish poor little Annamaria’s basket this evening; for I am sure it must hurt your eyes to work filigree by candlelight. And we will make the dear little love some amends for her disappointment to-morrow, and then I hope she will not much mind it.”

This hint was enough, Lucy recollected herself instantly and replied, “Indeed you are very much mistaken, Lady Middleton; I am only waiting to know whether you can make your party without me, or I should have been at my filigree already. I would not disappoint the little angel for all the world: and if you want me at the card-table now, I am resolved to finish the basket after supper.”

“You are very good, I hope it won’t hurt your eyes–will you ring the bell for some working candles? My poor little girl would be sadly disappointed, I know, if the basket was not finished tomorrow, for though I told her it certainly would not, I am sure she depends upon having it done.”

Lucy directly drew her work table near her and reseated herself with an alacrity and cheerfulness which seemed to infer that she could taste no greater delight than in making a filigree basket for a spoilt child.

[. . .]

“Perhaps,” continued Elinor, “if I should happen to cut out, I may be of some use to Miss Lucy Steele, in rolling her papers for her; and there is so much still to be done to the basket, that it must be impossible I think for her labour singly, to finish it this evening. I should like the work exceedingly, if she would allow me a share in it.”

Filigree, now mostly referred to as quilling, is a craft still done today, as shown in this little craft project provided by JoAnn Fabric and Crafts for making quilled snowflakes. You can buy your papers pre-cut now, which is unfortunate; how else would Elinor have been able to get Lucy alone to interrogate her about Edward Ferrars?

A crafter can do nothing slovenly


One of the things we did on our Unscheduled Sabbatical was a great deal of crocheting. (We made the prettiest scarf, and yes, those fingerless mitts that we linked to on our JA Birthday post.) It is, we are sure, perfectly coincidental to stumble across two links related to needlecrafts and Herself.

We know this link will interest a certain West Coast AustenBlog Correspondent: a blog dedicated to stitching the Jane Austen-inspired kits from The Sampler Girl.

We also saw that Interweave is producing a special Jane Austen Knits publication, and has put out a call for submissions. It will be out next fall. Too bad it specifies knits, as we could send them a couple of crochet and tatting patterns, but the knitters carry all before them. 😉

And not to be all tar-hearted dried-up spinster purist &c., but we can’t help but think that a Jane Austen Embroidery publication would be more appropriate, as Jane Austen did exquisite embroidery–a sample of her work, a whitework shawl, can be seen at the Jane Austen’s House Museum–and from all reports enjoyed it tremendously.

Original paintings of P&P characters


Alert Janeite Natalie sent a link to some original watercolor portraits, in a sweet cartoon style, of all the Pride and Prejudice characters. Very cute!

Making a List, Checking It Twice, Part II


Here’s something else for the Janeite’s Christmas list–both to give and receive. We were delighted to be pointed to Masha Laurence’s Etsy shop, which has prints and bookmarks of Masha’s beautiful, original watercolors of Regency-era gowns, some inspired by Jane Austen’s work. She also will paint custom designs inspired by Jane Austen’s novels upon request.

Full disclosure: the artist is Cub Reporter Heather L.’s sister-in-law, but we would have linked to this gorgeous stuff in any event! And now we have to go buy some before you lot snarf ’em all up.

Making a List, Checking it Twice, Part I


Here’s something our Gentle Readers might want to put on their holiday gift lists: the “Experience Novel Classics” edition of Lady Susan. We’d love to copy and paste from the description, but the website has no text, only pictures of text, so a quick description is that the letters from the narrative of Lady Susan have been separately printed up (or actually written, it’s hard to tell) and bound up in ribbon and flowers, and placed in a decorative box. This is a limited, numbered edition. Very pretty indeed!

Friday Bookblogging: No Labor Day Edition


Welcome to Friday Bookblogging, now with more crunchy delicious Tuesday! We had a lovely holiday weekend, because we didn’t have to do anything, including blog, which was a nice break from the past couple of weeks. Nose is back to the grindstone now, though. For those Gentle Readers who are new to AustenBlog, Friday Bookblogging (whatever day it is produced) is a weekly, or whenever we feel like it, roundup of links to articles and items of interest about Jane Austen’s novels and books about or inspired by Jane Austen and her novels.

First of all, right now at Austenprose, check out A Soirée with Lady Susan, a celebration of Jane Austen’s wonderful epistolary novella, which will continue through September 14.

Also, Laurel Ann has put together a roundup post of new Austen-related books coming out in September, which we always like because then we don’t have to. 😀 However, we do have news of a couple more Austen-related books either recently or soon to be published.

Jane Austen Sings the Blues, a collection of essays edited by Nora Foster Stovel as a tribute to her late husband, Austen scholar and blues aficionado Bruce Stovel, is available. It’s not paraliterature, though we would totally read that fanfic!

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter by Jane Rubino and Caitlin Rubino-Bradway, a mother and daughter team, will be out in October, and they have a book trailer they wanted to share with AustenBlog’s Gentle Readers.

New York Magazine has a review of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

I read S&S&SM with a copy of Austen’s novel open next to me, a tactic that made the mash-up seem simultaneously funnier and sadly diminished. The additions are often clever, and sometimes even sly in a way that’s plausibly Austenian. Reading too closely, however, also reveals the many brilliant touches that had to be left out to make room for repetitive gags about fighting otters and shrimp guts. After a while I found myself most enjoying the passages that had been changed the least. As in the old days, Austen versus the monsters turns out to be not much of a fight.

Publisher’s Weekly has a review (scroll about a quarter of the way down the page) of A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen, edited by Susannah Carson, which will be out in November.

Craft Gossip has some information about Jane Austen’s Sewing Box by Jennifer Forest, which sounds really great for those of us who enjoy needlework. *coughs significantly in the direction of a certain Cub Reporter*

There they go with the Uptight Purist Spinster &c. Janeite meme again.

Here is a short review of Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler.

That’s it for this week’s Bookblogging, so until next time, Gentle Readers, always remember: Books Are Nice!