Monday, 29 March 2010

Jane Austen Festival of Australia!

My Lords, Ladies and Gents,

It is with a great pleasure I - very belatedly - announce the upcoming Jane Austen Festival in... yes... in Australia! April 15 to 19, 2010 that is... so any Jane Austen fans in Australia, be ready to depart to Canberra!

The delightful event of Jane Austen Festival Australia is orchestrated by Earthly Delights, yet alas I shall not be able to attend, for I am required elsewhere to conduct my field work...

But do deliver us some first hand reports of this exciting event. I shall be honoured to post them here in our dearest blog. Several events I would personally be interested in attending are:

Friday, 16 April 2010
Dressing Jane Austen Fashion Exhibition
Country Dances from Jane Austen's Day
Dances from Jane Austen Movies (dance workshop)
Friday Evening Formal Event, incl. Jane Austen's Music & the felicities of dance

Saturday, 17 April 2010
Dressing Jane Austen Fashion Exhibition
More Country Dances from Jane Austen's Day (dance workshop)
Quadrille Dances from Jane Austen's Day

Sunday, 18 April 2010
Dressing Jane Austen Fashion Exhibition
Costumed Promenade: starting at 10.30am
How to Talk Regency with William Steed
Regency Dance Manuals

I suppose I just have to arrange my own trip to Canberra sometime this year to have a crash course of Regency Dance...

Pic: Regency dancers, from Eartly Delights

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week - Week 101 by Linda

We have more from Emma in Chapter 5, still between Mr. Knightley and Mrs. Weston:

"Yes," said he, smiling. "You are better placed here; very fit for a wife, but not at all for a governess. But you were preparing yourself to be an excellent wife all the time you were at Hartfield. You might not give Emma such a complete education as your powers would seem to promise; but you were receiving a very good education from her, on the very material matrimonial point of submitting your own will, and doing as you were bid; and if Weston had asked me to recommend him a wife, I should certainly have named Miss Taylor."

It is so strange that this sentence in bold should arise just now, because I have been investigating these last few years the question as to what made me a ‘doormat’. Well, just lately I stumbled across this book titled “The Doormat Syndrome”. I read the blurb HERE and decided that I must read the entire book!

What is most remarkable is that, according to Mr. Knightley, a ‘doormat’ was what made a ‘good wife’ back then! Personally, I think there is more to the matter than that.

Linda the Librarian

Pic: cover to Emma, Wordsworth Classic edition

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Comment moderation

Ladies and Gents... I have to make this short announcement. Unfortunately, our blog is also targeted by spams... and I had to spend the last 20 min deleting more than 10 spam comments from our blog. There are some more that I forgot to delete in the past, and I have to do that soon.

Hence, I'm now setting the comment moderation in our blog. I hate to do that, for it limits the willingness for some people to post comment, and also takes my time (or Rachel's), but that's the best thing to prevent these spamming. Unless some of you who are more adept in IT can tell me how to filter unwanted spams from blog messages.

Until further notice, I hope it doesn't stop you from dropping by and saying hi.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

New banner!

I love this new banner from Maria (Sweden) so much! Thanks a lot Maria!

And I'm waiting for my Emma 2009 DVD... hope it comes soon... I can't always watch it on YT, and I want to support Austen/BBC...

Update 24 March 2010:

Maria also kindly made some wallpapers with the same beautiful theme (but different flower at the corner).

They can be downloaded here:

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 100

Wow! We're at our 100th quote! And two days ago I had my 36th birthday, so I was looking for something birthday-ish... but haven't found something suitable until 5 min ago (hence the almost belated installment for Australia and New Zealand...). Anyway. I've pulled out something from Emma, at the end of Chapter 31 after she talked to Harriet re: Mr. Elton's marriage. Here for the first time Emma realised how affectionate Harriet was.

"There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart," said she afterwards to herself. "There is nothing to be compared to it. Warmth and tenderness of heart, with an affectionate, open manner, will beat all the clearness of head in the world, for attraction, I am sure it will."

And it is true, ladies and gents. I had many things to do (work-wise) on my birthday, but I was surrounded by so many beautiful friends, online, offline and physical... that I felt so lucky and grateful for such a wonderful birthday. My office is still fragrant because of a bunch of pink lilies my office friends gave me. While I typed this, I was looking at beautiful bday cards my friends sent/gave me, and again, I can only thank their beautiful tender hearts for making me so happy.

The picture is a red orchid, mine, which currently resides at my friend's garden in Bali (for I can't take care of it here...). Another friend gave it to me six years ago, during my 30th birthday, a few days after I had a major surgery, and it always blossoms regularly since then. Last time it blossomed (probably still) was a few days ago. Very beautiful...

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 99 - by Linda

In Emma Chapter 5:

Mrs. Weston and Mr. Knightley are discussing the merits of Emma having Harriet as a friend. Mrs. Weston thought it was beneficial to Emma, but Mr. Knightley disagreed. Consequently, Mrs. Weston said:

"Mr. Weston would undoubtedly support me, if he were here, for he thinks exactly as I do on the subject. We were speaking of it only yesterday, and agreeing how fortunate it was for Emma, that there should be such a girl in Highbury for her to associate with. Mr. Knightley, I shall not allow you to be a fair judge in this case. You are so much used to live alone, that you do not know the value of a companion; and perhaps no man can be a good judge of the comfort a woman feels in the society of one of her own sex, after being used to it all her life. I can imagine your objection to Harriet Smith. She is not the superior young woman which Emma's friend ought to be. But on the other hand as Emma wants to see her better informed, it will be an inducement to her to read more herself. They will read together. She means it, I know."

The sentence in bold speaks volumes about Jane and Cassandra’s relationship. I cannot speak for our Gentlemen friends, but as a woman, I know the value of my close, personal, ‘lady’ friends and I would not like to be without their company. They are all as close as “sisters” could ever be. We can share our trials, as well as the good times. Each of us has an area of interest, and expertise that contribute to our mutual information, knowledge, and education which broadens our horizons. I am ever so grateful for them. We should remember to say “Thank You” more often.

Linda the Librarian

Pic: Mrs. Weston (Greta Sacchi) and Emma (Gwyneth Palthrow) in Emma 1996, taken from Janitesonthejames

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week - Week 98

Rather than succumbing to the usual laziness of vaguely remembering quotes in my head and then researching on the internet for the full details, this week I thought I would dig out my copy of Love and Friendship (alternative spelling of Freindship) as it is work by Jane Austen's that we rarely speak about. Its hilarious. Upon reading it again whilst sitting on the train this week, I was laughing out loud. Its amazing to think that she wrote this when she was only 14 years old.

The short novel is a series of letters. One of the main characters, Laura, acts as narrator for the first part of the juvenilia piece.

Laura was married to Edward and through him met his friend Augustus and his wife Sophia. In a very short summary, Augustus is arrested for not paying his debts and Edward goes to town and never comes back. Laura and Sophia flee to Scotland to stay with some of Sophia's relatives. Here is where the passage I have chosen is spoken. They have been walking and take a rest at the side of the road next to a stream.

"Alas why are not Edward and Augustus here to enjoy its Beauties with us?"

"Ah! my beloved Laura (cried Sophia) for pity's sake forbear recalling to my remembrance the unhappy situation of my imprisoned Husband. Alas, what would I not give to learn the fate of my Augustus! to know if he is still in Newgate, or if he is yet hung. But never shall I be able so far to conquer my tender sensibility as to enquire after him. Oh! do not I beseech you ever let me again hear you repeat his beloved name--. It affects me too deeply --. I cannot bear to hear him mentioned it wounds my feelings."

"Excuse me my Sophia for having thus unwillingly offended you--" replied I--and then changing the conversation, desired her to admire the noble Grandeur of the Elms which sheltered us from the Eastern Zephyr. "Alas! my Laura (returned she) avoid so melancholy a subject, I intreat you. Do not again wound my Sensibility by observations on those elms. They remind me of Augustus. He was like them, tall, magestic--he possessed that noble grandeur which you admire in them."

I was silent, fearfull lest I might any more unwillingly distress her by fixing on any other subject of conversation which might again remind her of Augustus.

"Why do you not speak my Laura? (said she after a short pause) "I cannot support this silence you must not leave me to my own reflections; they ever recur to Augustus."

"What a beautifull sky! (said I) How charmingly is the azure varied by those delicate streaks of white!"
"Oh! my Laura (replied she hastily withdrawing her Eyes from a momentary glance at the sky) do not thus distress me by calling my Attention to an object which so cruelly reminds me of my Augustus's blue sattin waistcoat striped in white! In pity to your unhappy freind avoid a subject so distressing." What could I do? The feelings of Sophia were at that time so exquisite, and the tenderness she felt for Augustus so poignant that I had not power to start any other topic, justly fearing that it might in some unforseen manner again awaken all her sensibility by directing her thoughts to her Husband. Yet to be silent would be cruel; she had intreated me to talk.

From this Dilemma I was most fortunately releived by an accident truly apropos; it was the lucky overturning of a Gentleman's Phaeton, on the road which ran murmuring behind us. It was a most fortunate accident as it diverted the attention of Sophia from the melancholy reflections which she had been before indulging

It is an unusual humour but I love Jane's use of shear mockery.

Pic: Love and Freindship cover