Archive for January, 2012

Another Blog Award!

I’ve been awarded the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award by Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm.  Thank you Miss Laurie!

I have to post seven miscellaneous things about myself.

  • I love horses – especially Arabian Horses.
  • I have a Black Lab Retriever.
  • I have every single Elsie Dinsmore book except three.
  • Chocolate ice cream is my favorite type of ice cream.
  • I’ve listened to the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack over ten times in less than a week.
  • My first blog was a handmade greeting card blog, but I deleted it long ago.
  • My favorite color is purple.

Now I have to award ten more bloggers with this award.

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Oliver!

Cover Image

Oliver! is the only Dickenson film I have watched beside Little Dorrit.  I’ve watched Oliver! several times and each time, I found new things to enjoy.  Oliver! is a musical/movie.  It has great casting and lots of funny, sad, or beautiful songs in it.

From Wikipedia:

The musical opens in the workhouse, as the half-starved orphan boys are entering the enormous lunchroom for dinner (“Food Glorious Food”). They are fed only gruel. Nine-year-old Oliver (actually identified as thirteen in the libretto but generally played as much younger, as in the Dickens novel) gathers up the courage to ask for more. He is immediately apprehended and is told to gather his belongings by Mr. Bumble and the Widow Corney, the heartless and greedy caretakers of the workhouse (“Oliver!”). Mr. Bumble and Widow Corney are left alone, and Mr. Bumble begins to make amorous advances. Mrs. Corney pretends to resent his attentions (“I Shall Scream!”), but ends up on Mr. Bumble’s lap, kissing him. Oliver comes back and is promptly sold (“Boy for Sale”) and apprenticed to an undertaker, Mr. Sowerberry. He and his wife taunt Oliver and Mr. Bumble (“That’s Your Funeral”). He is sent to sleep in the basement with the coffins, something which makes him visibly uncomfortable. (“Where is Love?”).

The next morning bully Noah Claypole, who oversees Oliver’s work, insults Oliver’s dead mother, whereupon Oliver begins pummeling him. Mrs. Sowerberry and her daughter, Charlotte run in, and become hysterical. Mr. Bumble is sent for, and he and the Sowerberrys lock Oliver in a coffin, but during all the commotion Oliver escapes. After a week on the run, he meets the Artful Dodger, a boy wearing an oversize coat and a top hat. He beckons Oliver to join him (“Consider Yourself”). Dodger is, unknown to Oliver, a boy pickpocket, and he invites Oliver to come and live in Fagin’s lair. Fagin is a criminal, and he is in the business of teaching young boys to pick pockets. Oliver, however, is completely unaware of any criminality, and believes that the boys make handkerchiefs rather than steal them. Oliver is introduced to Fagin and all the other boy pickpockets, and is taught their ways (“You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two”).

The next day, Oliver meets Nancy, the live-in girlfriend of the evil, terrifying Bill Sikes, a burglar whose abuse she endures because she loves him. Nancy and Oliver take an instant liking to each other, and Nancy shows motherly affection toward him. Bet, Nancy’s younger sister (her best friend in Dickens’ novel and the 1968 film), is also with her. Nancy, along with Bet and the boys, sing about how they don’t mind a bit of danger (“It’s a Fine Life”). Dodger humorously starts pretending to be an upper-class citizen, (“I’d Do Anything”), along with Fagin, Oliver, Nancy, Bet, and the boys mocking high society. Nancy and Bet leave and Oliver is sent out with the other boys on his first pickpocketing job (“Be Back Soon”), though he still believes that they are going to teach him how to make handkerchiefs. Dodger, another boy pickpocket named Charley Bates, and Oliver decide to stick together, and when Dodger and Charley rob Mr. Brownlow, a wealthy old man, they run off, leaving Oliver to be arrested for the crime (“The Robbery”).

The next morning, at Mr. Brownlow’s house in Bloomsbury, Ms. Bedwin, the housekeeper (who sings in the stage version, but not in the film), sings to Oliver, (“Where Is Love? [Reprise]”), and Oliver wakes up. Mr. Brownlow and Dr. Grimwig discuss Oliver’s condition. They come to the conclusion that he is well enough to go outside, and Mr. Brownlow sends Oliver on an errand- he asks him to return some books to the library. From his window, Oliver sees a group of street vendors and joins them in song once he steps outside (“Who Will Buy?”). As the vendors leave, Nancy and Bill show up and grab Oliver. They bring him back to Fagin’s den, where Nancy saves Oliver from a beating from Sykes after the boy tries to flee but is stopped. Nancy angrily and remorsefully reviews their dreadful life, but Bill maintains that any living is better than none. Fagin tries to act as an intermediary (“It’s A Fine Life [Reprise]”). When Sykes and Nancy leave, Fagin, who also wants out, humorously ponders his future (“Reviewing the Situation”). However, every time he thinks of a good reason for going straight, he reconsiders and decides to remain a criminal.

Back at the workhouse, Mr. Bumble and the Widow Corney, now unhappily married, meet up with the dying pauper Old Sally and another old lady, who tell them that Oliver’s mother, Agnes, left a gold locket (indicating that he comes from a rich family) when she died in childbirth. Old Sally stole the locket and now gives it to the Widow Corney. Mr. Bumble and Widow Corney, realizing that Oliver may have wealthy relatives, visit Mr. Brownlow in order to profit from any reward given out for information of him (“Oliver! [Reprise]”). He throws them out, knowing that they have suppressed evidence until they could get a reward for it. Brownlow looks at the picture inside the locket, a picture of his daughter, and realizes that Oliver, who knows nothing of his family history, is actually his grandson (Oliver’s mother had disappeared after having been left pregnant by her lover, who jilted her).

Nancy, terrified for Oliver and feeling guilty, visits Brownlow and promises to deliver Oliver to him safely that night at midnight on London Bridge – if Brownlow does not bring the police or ask any questions. She then ponders again about Bill (“As Long As He Needs Me [Reprise]”). Bill suspects that Nancy is up to something. That night, he follows her as she sneaks Oliver out, although in the stage version it is never made clear how he knew exactly when to do this. At London Bridge, he confronts them, knocks Oliver temporarily unconscious, and brutally clubs Nancy to death (in alternative stagings of the show, he either strangles her, stabs her, or slits her throat, but the musical’s original libretto follows the Dickens novel in having her beaten to death). He then grabs Oliver, who has since revived, and runs offstage with him, presumably back to the hideout to ask Fagin for getaway money. Mr. Brownlow, who had been late keeping the appointment, arrives and discovers Nancy’s body. A large crowd soon forms, among them the distraught Bet. Bullseye, Bill’s fierce terrier, returns to the scene of the crime and the crowd prepares to follow him to the hideout. After they exit Fagin and his boys, terrified at the idea of being apprehended, leave their hideout in panic. Not finding Bill at the hideout, the anxious crowd, now whipped up into a thirst for justice, returns to the Thames Embankment, when suddenly Bill appears at the top of the bridge, holding Oliver as hostage and threatening to kill him if the crowd tries to take him. Unseen by Bill, two policemen sneak up on him. One of them fatally shoots Bill and the other grabs Oliver as Bill releases him. Oliver is then reunited with Mr. Brownlow. The mob, still eager for vengeance against this underground criminal network, begins a mad search for Fagin. When one of the members of the crowd suggest that he may be at the Three Cripples pub, they disperse offstage in order to track him down. As the crowd exits, Fagin sneaks on and decides that, after years of pickpocketing and training junior pickpocketers, the time has never looked better for him to straighten out his life.

If you want to check out the official website for all the productions of Oliver! go here.

I’m sorry I couldn’t get any pics of the movie…

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My Button For the Charles Dickens Birthday Event

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Lizzy

My favorite Lizzy!  I got the pic from here.

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Defending Mansfield Park Update

Mansfield Park

I wrote a post a couple of months ago called Defending Mansfield Park.  You can read it here.  This is post is by far the most controversial and the most commented post.  It received five comments by other people and two by me.  There are conflicting views expressed in the comments and I will post the different comments I received:

You really believe that Fanny Price is mature? I don’t. I find her to be a hypocritical bore. – ladylavinia1932

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I can’t decide which between Persuasion and Mansfield Park is Austen’s most mature work. Anne Elliot and Fanny Price are two unlike characters, having been brought up in vastly different environments. One cannot expect Fanny to trust her own mind and be as lively and pretty as Anne…

Mansfield Park is a very interesting novel. Not only did Austen explore to some depths the human mind but also wrote a story that seemingly runs on its own–almost independent of the author’s hand–letting the characters struggle, suffer the consequences of their ambition and ideals, and work themselves through the world they’d been placed in.

(I raise my glass.) To your valiant defense of Mansfield Park! – auxochrome

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I remember seeing this post a few days ago and felt glad you were defending MP. It’s rather strange to some, perhaps, that I defend my least favorite Jane Austen book so much; but that just says how much I love all her works, that though it may be my technical ‘least favorite’ I still love it!

The main thing I like about it is Fanny Price. I sympathize with her and love her. I’m not really a fan of Edmund – mainly for going for Mary – but I still like him tolerably well enough. =) He is such a nice fellow. Now if Miss Austen had included a redeeming proposal quote, I might be more disposed to rate him highly. tehe…

It drives me nuts when people say Fanny is judgmental, or boring, or whatever else they say about her. They just don’t understand her if they do! =)

I think the main thing to boost MP’s popularity would be a good miniseries of it. I hope one comes soon! – Melody

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Mansfield Park may not reach my top three favorite Austen books, but I found it neither dull nor boring. It was, in fact, interesting. Fanny’s a lovely character with wonderful, strong qualities. Although Edmund doesn’t rank high as my favorite Austen heroes, I agree: he still has many good character traits as well. – Jemimah C.

So as you can see, I received conflicting views and opinions.  However, I welcome all your comments, positive or not-so-positive, as long as they are kept polite.

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Charles Dickens Birthday Week

Old-Fashioned Charm

Charles Dickens Birthday Week is being hosted by Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm.  It promises to be a week filled with excitement and entertainment.  Here is what Miss Laurie suggests you do on your blog:

During this week I encourage you to post about Charles Dickens on your own blog. Tell about your favorite Dickens novel, share favorite moments from a Dickens film adaptation, write about a favorite Dickensian character, pen a birthday letter or poem to Mr. Dickens, or make some fan art with screencaps and quotes.  If you post something related to Charles Dickens life or works be sure to let me know!    

I plan to do all of these – I hope I can at least!  By the way, Charles Dickens’ actual birthday is February 7th.  

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Sense and Sensibilty

Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility is a story about two girls – Elinor (sense) and Marianne (sensibility).  When they move to Barton cottage with their mother, Marianne is swept off her feet by a dashing stranger, Willoughby.  Meanwhile, Elinor must mask the love she feels for Edward Ferrars because it is impossible for them to marry.  When Willoughby leaves suddenly, Marianne is heartbroken and succumbs to her ‘sensibility.’  How the two sisters find their own true loves makes and interesting and enjoyable read for anyone.

Sense and Sensibility

This S and S graphic novel is not the best Jane Austen graphic novel I have seen.  On one hand, it stays true to the book – often directly quoting it in places.  On the other hand, the artwork is atrocious.  The characters heads swell out of proportion with warning, Elinor is unattractive to say the least, and the overall appearance is quite shabby.  However, it did follow the book closely.

Colonel Brandon's Diary

I love Colonel Brandon’s Diary by Amanda Grange.  I have read all her ‘diaries’ except Henry Tilney’s and this one is the best one.  It goes far back into Colonel Brandon’s life and recounts how he fell in love with the first Eliza, lost her, found her, and how he took care of her daughter when she died.  It tells the story of S and S skillfully and believably.  I love reading this book over and over again.

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A Lovely Photo

I got the photo of this blog.

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Little Dorrit 2008 Movie Review

Wikipedia Synopsis:

Since her birth, Amy Dorrit has lived in the Marshalsea Prison for Debt, where she cares for her father William, who is held in great esteem by the other inmates. To help financially assist her family, she works as a seamstress for Mrs. Clennam, a semi-invalid who is confined to her crumbling home with her servants, the sinister Jeremiah Flintwinch and his bumbling wife Affery.

Arthur Clennam returns from China with his father’s pocket watch and delivers it to Mrs. Clennam, as Mr. Clennam’s dying wish was for the watch to go to Arthur’s mother. Arthur becomes reacquainted with his former sweetheart, the now overweight widow Flora Finching, who hopes to rekindle the affection the couple shared before they were separated by their disapproving parents. However, he is enamoured with Pet Meagles, who favours ne’er-do-well aspiring artist Henry Gowan, much to the distress of her parents. Meanwhile, in Marseille, murderer Rigaud and his timid cell-mate Jean-Baptiste Cavaletto separately are released from jail, and Cavaletto makes plans to journey to England.

Arthur befriends Amy, whose affection for him grows as John Chivery, who oversees the Marshalsea entrance with his father, watches in dismay, as he is in love with the girl.

Arthur’s father’s dying words lead him to believe his family may have been responsible for the Dorrits’ misfortunes, resulting in Mr. Dorrit being imprisoned without just cause. He asks rent collector and amateur detective Mr. Pancks to investigate the situation. He then visits the Meagles family in their rural home, where he is intrigued by their servant, the orphaned black girl Tattycoram, and her odd relationship with the mysterious Miss Wade.

John Chivery proposes to Amy, who gently declines his offer, upsetting her father, who fears a rift in their relationship will affect his favoured position in the prison. Arthur, unaware how much Amy cares for him, realises Pet Meagles prefers rival suitor Henry Gowan to him. Through her parents he meets inventor and engineer Daniel Doyce, and the two men decide to become business partners.

Cavalletto arrives in London and discovers he’s been followed by Rigaud, who meets Ephraim Flintwinch, Jeremiah’s twin brother, in a tavern. The man has in his possession a box containing Mrs. Clennam’s secret papers, which she had ordered her servant to burn but he had given to Ephraim for safekeeping instead. Rigaud suspects the contents of the box are valuable and, after plying Ephraim with drink, he leads him to a deserted passageway, where he murders him and confiscates the box.

Amy’s sister Fanny brings her to visit Mrs. Merdle, the wife of a wealthy investor and the mother of her ardent admirer, Edmund Sparkler. Mrs. Merdle disapproves of Fanny’s career as a music hall entertainer and offers her a gold bracelet and new dresses to leave her son alone.

Mr. Pancks continues to investigate the connection between the Dorrits and the Clennams, prompting Amy to become suspicious. Cavaletto, fearfully running away from Rigaud, who has changed his name to Blandois, is knocked down by a horse and treated by the impoverished Plornish family, who offer him accommodations. Cavaletto eventually finds employment with Arthur and Daniel Doyce in their factory in the Bleeding Heart Yard.

Arthur proposes to Pet, who announces she is marrying Henry Gowan. Tattycoram, tired of taking orders from the Meagles family, leaves them and finds shelter with Miss Wade.

Blandois visits Mrs. Clennam. Although he does not reveal he has her papers, Flintwinch suspects he managed to wrest them from his missing brother. Mrs. Clennam invites Blandois to return at a later date and discuss business.

Pet and Henry marry and depart for Venice, where he plans to study art. Arthur confesses he loved Pet to Amy, who does not reveal her feelings for him.

Mr. Pancks reveals his investigation is complete. He has discovered William Dorrit is heir to a fortune and now is in a position to settle his debts and leave Marshalsea as a very wealthy man. Mr. Dorrit insists his family forget their shameful past and everyone who was a part of it, and he hires Mrs. Hortensia General to educate his daughters and prepare them for their new position in society. They depart on a Grand Tour of Europe, but before they leave England Amy gives her friends the Plornishes a substantial sum of money so they can start a business and free themselves from poverty.

In Venice, the Dorrits encounter Blandois, who has befriended the newly-wed Gowans at the bequest of Miss Wade, who plans to have him eventually harm Henry for reasons not yet disclosed. Both Pet and Amy find themselves uncomfortable in the presence of Blandois, although Henry finds him to be a source of amusement. His feelings change when his dog, who had snarled at Blandois, is found poisoned shortly after the man departs without warning.

William Dorrit becomes increasingly upset with Amy, who has been unable to adapt to the family’s new lifestyle as easily as her father and sister. Her uncle Frederick appears to be the only one who can relate to her feelings.

Also in Venice are Mrs. Merdle and Edmund Sparkler, who tries to romance Fanny. Mrs. Merdle writes to her husband and asks him to find work for her son so she can get him away from Fanny. Back in London, Arthur is frustrated by his efforts to acquire patents for Daniel’s inventions at the Circumlocution Office, where nothing ever is accomplished. At the suggestion of Mr. Pancks, Arthur invests in Mr. Merdle’s highly successful bank in order to increase capital for the business.

Blandois returns to London, where Arthur observes him talking to Miss Wade. He follows her to Flora’s house, where he is told her father holds an allowance in trust for the mysterious woman, but he is not convinced the story is true. His suspicions increase when he encounters Blandois at his mother’s and she refuses to disclose their business. When Blandois mysteriously disappears, Mrs. Clennam comes under suspicion. Cavalletto informs Arthur Blandois is really the murderous Rigaud, but when Arthur confronts his mother with this information, she still refuses to answer his questions. He hires Mr. Pancks to find Miss Wade in the hope she knows Rigaud’s whereabouts.

William Dorrit returns to England with Fanny and Sparkler, who have married. He seeks financial advice from Mr. Merdle, who suggests he invest his fortune in his bank. Mr. Dorrit is welcomed into some of London’s finest homes, but as faces from his past begin to surface, he begins to lose his grasp on sanity. He returns to Venice, where Amy is concerned about his confused state of mind. When Mrs. General rejects his proposal of marriage and quickly departs the family, Mr. Dorrit’s mental state unravels and, at a masked ball hosted by Mrs. Merdle, he humiliates himself when he mistakes her home for the Marshalsea and her guests for his former fellow inmates. Amy brings him home, where he dies, followed immediately by her uncle Frederick. Now alone, Amy returns to London, where she is welcomed by Fanny and Edmund, who invite her to stay with them.

Mr. Pancks has found Miss Wade. She tells Arthur she was an orphan, which inspired her empathy with Tattycoram, and that she once loved Henry Gowan, who rejected her, which prompted her desire to have him killed, but she insists she knows nothing about Rigaud’s fate.

Mr. Merdle visits Fanny and Sparkler and borrows a penknife, which he uses to slash his jugular vein in a tub in the local bathhouse. His suicide note reveals he was a swindler who had had been manipulating his books and has left thousands of people who invested with him in financial ruin. Among them is Arthur, who becomes an inmate at Marshalsea Prison when he is unable to pay his debts. John Chivery then tells Arthur that Amy has always loved him. Arthur becomes seriously ill with a high fever and is nursed back to health by Amy. Amy then offers to use her inheritance from her father to pay Arthur’s debts and release him from the Marshalsea, but he sends her away and asks her not to return.

Rigaud returns to Mrs. Clennam and reveals what he knows from the stolen documents. Her stern, unloving attitude drove her husband into the arms of a woman who bore him a son, Arthur, whom she raised as her own, albeit without any feeling for him. When Arthur’s birth mother died, his father, anxious to help someone else who was disadvantaged, bequeathed money to Amy. Rigaud demands £2,000 to keep silent, but Mrs. Clennam leaves her house for the first time in years to find Amy, reveal the truth, and beg her forgiveness. During her absence, her dilapidated house literally falls apart at the seams and collapses, killing Rigaud. Returning home and discovering the rubble, Mrs. Clennam collapses and dies in the street.

When their father’s will is read, the Dorrit children learn they are penniless, since William had invested all his money with Mr. Merdle. Daniel Doyce returns from Russia, where he patented his inventions and made a fortune, and he insists on sharing his wealth with his business partner. 

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I deleted the ending.  🙂

I really liked seeing Matthew Macfayden as Arthur Cleman.  I’ve seen him in Pride and Prejudice (2005) so it was nice to see him in another film.  All the other actors did a great job in their roles.  I also saw another familiar face – Harriet Walter…who plays Fanny Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility 1995.

The music was very good – creepy for the villain, sad for…well, sad parts, and cheerful when needed.  Dickens was a great plot artist; he really knew how to build a complicated plot and have it all tie together.  For instance, how do a French criminal, a headstrong servant girl, a poor seamstress, and a mysterious family come together to make a believable plot?  Amazing.

For me, Little Dorrit will always be one of my favorite movies (even though its seven and a half hours long).  And for those of you who think it will be to dark, be assured it has a happy ending.  I’m planning to read the book soon.

One of the funniest scenes!

 

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Emma Watson: The Watsons Completed

Emma Watson: The Watsons Completed

Author: Joan Aiken

Genre: Regency Romance

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 8

Type: Romance

Time Period: Early 1800’s

Main Characters: Emma Watson

My Review: In this interesting and skillful completion of Jane Austen’s literary fragment, The Watsons, Joan Aiken brings again to life the trials and troubles of Emma Watson and her family members.  I was happily surprised at how easily the story blended right into The Watsons.  Emma Watson is palmed off to several family members after her father dies.  Where will she fit in?

My overall opinion:  An entertaining read with a surprising ending.

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2012 Charles Dickens Reading Challenge

Miss Abby from Newly Impassioned Soul is hosting a Charles Dickens Reading Challenge since 2012 is the 200th anniversary of his birth.  She challenges you to read 3, 5, or 10 of Dickens’ books.  I have decided to read five books seeing as I am only just now being introduced to his work.

1.  Oliver Twist – I’ve already started reading this and it is really interesting.

Oliver Twist (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

2.  Great Expectations – I’ve read an abridged version of this novel and I enjoyed it so I think it’s time I read the full version.

Great Expectations (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

3.  Little Dorrit – I am going to be watching the miniseries in a few days, so I thought I should read the book too.

Little Dorrit

4.  The Olde Curiosity Shop – I’ve heard of this book and it sounded interesting.

The Old Curiosity Shop

5.  Our Mutual Friend – This is my mom’s favorite Dickens so I want to see for myself what it’s like.

Our Mutual Friend (Dodo Press)

I hope that you will join the challenge – Dickens’ books are well worth it.  

For more info on Dickens’ 200th birthday check this website.

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What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew

Sorry it's blurry

Author: Daniel Pool

Genre: ?

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 8

Type: Non-fiction

Time Period: A book about the Regency and Georgian Period

Main Characters: None

My Review: What Jane Austen Ate… is a comprehensive guide to all the puzzling factors of the Regency and Georgian Periods.  What does ‘franking’ mean?  How were you to address the King’s children?  What was the etiquette of calling cards?  This books offers these answers and many more.  A great book for any fan of those time periods.

My overall opinion:  I enjoyed reading this book.  It gives information in an interesting way and I would recommend it to anyone.

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A Mile In His Shoes – GIVEAWAY!

A Mile In His Shoes is a great family movie.  It tells the story of a boy with Asperger’s  Symptom (a form of autism) – and a great pitching arm.  Against the odds, he makes it into the Rats – a baseball team.  He makes friends and helps the Rats…but I won’t tell you the story.  This movie is a wonderful family movie and I highly recommend it.
Giveaway details:  Put up one comment for each extra entry.  For the mandatory entry post a comment .  Giveaway ends January 31st, 2012.  This means you can no longer enter.  I will post the winner and e-mail him/her soon after.  Sorry, contest open to residents of Canada and the United States of America only.  The options below are totally optional.  You do not have to do any of them to enter the giveaway, but they will increase your chances of winning.
  1. Subscribe to this blog.  (If you have already done so, put up an extra comment telling me, or else it won’t count.)
  2. Like this blog’s facebook page.
  3. Subscribe to my writing blog.  (If you have already done so, put up an extra comment telling me, or else it won’t count.)
  4. Like my writing blog’s facebook page.
  5. Like the A Mile In His Shoe’s page on Facebook.
  6. Share the link to this giveaway on Facebook.
  7. Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter.
  8. Post about this giveaway on your blog/website.  When you comment for this extra entry, include the link.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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A New Blog!

I created a new blog last night – JustWrite.  This blog will chronicle my writing experiences so I won’t have to post them here.  Comments and feedback would be appreciated.

taken using SnapIT!

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The Highborn Governess

My new novella is going along quite well.  I’ve decided to answer a novel tags and sketch my characters.  However, my characters change so much, this information might not always be acurate.

What is your current word count? About 3,000 words, but I still have lots more to write.

What would you consider is best about your novel: plot, dialog, characters, or description?  My characters are really developing in this novella, even better than the first one.  But my dialogue is really good too (In my humble opinion).

Which of the above would you consider your weakest point?  Description.  I’m pretty bad at that so I hardly ever incorporate it into my stories.  It sounds unnatural and forced.

Of all your characters who do you like the best?  Edmund Troppe, the hero, is probably my favorite character.  But I like Emma too.

What was the inspiration for your novel?  My first novella, Eleanor and Catherine: Tender Hopes and Dreams.
What other writing projects have you completed or are in the process of writing?  I don’t have anything planned right now.
What would you consider the funniest line in your novel?  They both shyly greeted her and then they all stood there, feeling uncomfortable.Go to the 11th page of your novel and paste the last paragraph here.  

“Oh, it’s just that Fan and Lydia have not been behaving as well as they ought, or that Mother thinks they should,” he said.  Then, conjecturing rightly that she was shy and did not wish to talk, at least not at the moment, he bowed and exited the schoolroom.  Emma, lingered a few more moments and then went out.

What time period is your novel set in?  The mid-1800′s, Regency England

Please paste here the paragraph you consider the best.  The maid left her alone in the schoolroom.  She walked down the room to the large, handsome oak desk that was to be hers.  She noted that Fanny and Lydia’s desks were, though not the same size, still as well crafted and of the same material.  Emma looked at the different titles of the many, handsomely-bound books that were in the room.

What are you planning to do when your novel is all written and edited? Writing wise, that is.  I want to do another story, perhaps a sequel to this one.
My story is constantly changing in little details but here is the rough synopsis.
Emma Ashby is left an orphan upon her father’s death.  Her mother died several years ago.  She becomes a governess at the Troppe household and teaches their two girls, Fanny and Lydia.  Emma develops an affection towards the Troppe’s only son, Edmund.  When her rich aunt and uncle, Eleanor and Henry Davrille find her and take her to their home, will she see Edmund again?  Does he have feelings for her?
The Characters
Emma Ashby – Emma Ashby is a bit shy, accomplished, intelligent, and kind.  She is unsure at first about being a governess, but even though she is not treated well by many of the servants and family members, she adjusts quickly.  Emma is probably my favorite female character I’ve created.
Edmund Troppe – Edmund Troppe is a handsome young man of five and twenty.  He enjoys a variety of pastimes, one of the first of which is reading.  He posesses a sense of humor and teases his sisters, Lydia and Fanny.  He is attracted to Emma’s shyness and her plight.
Eleanor Davrille – Eleanor Davrille is Emma’s aunt.  I wrote her story in Eleanor and Catherine.  She is kind and warm towards everyone she meets.
There are a lot more characters than who I’ve shown, but those are the main ones.

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Lady Vernon and Her Daughter

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Jane Austen Novel

Author: Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

Genre: Novel

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 5

Type: Historical Fiction

Time Period: Late 1700’s 

Main Characters: Lady Vernon, Miss Vernon

My Review: I recently read Lady Susan by Jane Austen, so I borrowed this book from the library.  Even in it’s letter form, Lady Susan had been entertaining, so I had high hopes for this book.  Boring.  I got through the first twenty chapters to where it really starts following the book (the other chapters had been background).  I did like the middle, then it got boring again, and then the last few chapters were interesting.  They included letters throughout the book – some from Lady Susan, others that weren’t.  If you are a die-hard Austen fan and you have lots of time on your hands, this book is for you.  Includes excerpts from Lady Susan.  I’m reading a continuation of The Watsons right now, and I hope to give it a more favorable report.  

My overall opinion:  A (in my opinion) bit boring.  I probably won’t read it again, but it was interesting enough.

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Jane Austen: A Life

Jane Austen

Author: Claire Tomalin

Genre: Biography

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 10

Type: Non-fiction

Time Period: Written in modern times.

Main Characters: Jane Austen

My Review: Jane Austen: A Life is the best biography on Jane Austen I have ever read (and I’ve read several).  The biography is written in a semi-story format.  Claire Tomalin takes myths, traditions, and hard facts about Jane Austen a makes a highly entertaining biography.  It has a whole chapter devoted to Mansfield Park – “Inside Mansfield Park” which I enjoyed.  I think I can say that M.P. is my favorite Jane Austen novel.

My overall opinion:  A great book, entertaining read, and a good authority on Jane Austen and her family.

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Write Like Jane Austen!

Of course, no one can write like Jane Austen…or so you think.  Just install this font on your computer and you will be writing like Austen in no time at all.  Only takes a few seconds to download.

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2011 In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper staff prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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BRAVO!

One of my favorite Jane Austen bloggers amazed and delighted me today.  Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm put this up in answer to a Jane Austen tag question.

Which is your least favorite JA novel, and why? (Everybody posts about their favorites… I want to know what’s at the bottom of your list!)
Probably my least favorite novel would have to be Pride and Prejudice. “What!?!” you ask. “Are you CRAZY!?!?!?” Well let’s just agree that I am. 😉
I’m not sure why it’s my least favorite really. Perhaps it’s a combination of a lot of little pet peeves I have.
I don’t really identify with Elizabeth Bennet, even though I admirer her. I have quite a different personality than her (I’m more like an Elinor Dashwood) so on occasion her more out-going and feisty personality gets a bit tedious to me. Mr. Darcy is my least favorite hero mostly because although he is a gentleman he can also be quite a snob at times (sorry!). Also Mrs. Bennet, Lydia, Wickham and Mr. Collins drive me crazy! Yes they are funny but they also can make me mad (especially Lydia!). One definite reason that P&P has less appeal to me now is that I’ve probably watched too many film adaptations too often. Also it seems that many people have copied the story line of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s romance in other books and films. I’m a bit sorry that P&P gets a lot of the attention from media and fans when Jane Austen wrote five other amazing novels. Sometimes I think that just once I’d like to say “I love Jane Austen. You know, she’s the author of…” without having to mention Pride and Prejudice.
Now, all that being said (and lest you think me completely horrid), I would still adore Jane Austen if the only novel she had written was Pride and Prejudice. My love for Jane Austen’s work as a whole far outweighs my love of every other author. Picking a least favorite Austen novel is very difficult!   

This is exactly my opinion.  It conicides with my answer to the same question:

This is really tough!  I love all of her novels, but my least favorite would be…Pride and Prejudice *united Janeite gasp*.  The way I see it, Pride and Prejudice has been so dramatized, made over, etc. that most people lose sight of the actual book itself.  Don’t worry, I really enjoy P and P.

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