The great authoress herself would have turned 234 years old today. So as a tribute to her I want to dedicate a blog post to her.
Miss Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775. While she went about writing her work, she published it anonymously. She published Sense and Sensibility in 1811, followed by Pride and Prejudice in 1813, Mansfield Park in 1814, and Emma in 1815. While in her life time she was not celebrated for her works, she became recognized as one of the greatest writers after her life. After her death in July 18, 1817, with her sister Cassandra Austen holding her in her arms, two other books were published. In 1817 Northanger Abbey was published along with Persuasion in the same year. There are other works that she wrote such as the short story Lady Susan and Love and Friendship along with a few other early works. There are two pieces of work that she didn't finish and that's Sandition and The Watsons. There are many more, but most are early works or just pieces that didn't get published. I personally have her six novels and Lady Susan in one beautifully leather bound book by Barnes and Noble, and is a must buy for any Jane Austen enthusiast. Let's just say it makes reading her books more authentic.
Many countless books have been published by other authors who wished to extend Jane Austen's original novels. Anywhere from the daughters of Mr. Darcey and Lizzy to weird editions about Zombies or Sea Monsters. Any Janeite (a fan/fan culture developed that's centered on Austen's life, her works, and the various film and television adaptations of them) can enjoy many different adaptions of their favorite Jane Austen novel.
I myself am just starting on the Jane Austen journey. I'm currently reading Sense and Sensibility. I've also had the great chance to read Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by the same author. While they are both works of fiction where the idea of turning up in Jane Austen's time or coming from Jane Austen's time to our time was just too fun to read. I highly recommend both of them, even if you haven't read any of Jane Austen's works.
All of her novels have been turned into television specials and major motion pictures. I've seen three so far, with one based on Jane Austen's life.
Becoming Jane is based off the biography written by Jon Spence called Becoming Jane Austen, and is set around Jane Austen's own love relationship when she was in her twenties with a young lawyer named Thomas Lefroy. Anne Hathaway stars as the young authoress and the yummy James McAvoy plays the Irish-born Mr. Lefroy. Anne does a great job at portraying Jane Austen, though at times it peeved me a bit that she isn't British, and thus lacks the proper accent. The score/soundtrack to the film is very gorgeous and is a must buy if you just want a little bit of Regency Era-type (the Regency Era is the name of the era in England during Jane Austen's time) of music.
Pride and Prejudice is by far one of my favorite films. Keira Knighley stars as the independent thinker Elizabeth Bennet, and along side her is Matthew Macfadyen, the most gorgeous Mr. Darcy I have ever seen!!! Both with their heads on too tight, they embark on a journey that takes them to a great understanding that their perceptions of each other were wrong in the first place. The soundtrack for this film is also gorgeous and my dream is to dance to the song that Mr. Darcy and Lizzy dance to at the ball for my wedding. The song is called "A Postcard to Henry Purcell." I purchased the special gift box edition of the film so it came with the film, the soundtrack, a ticket to see Atonement (also with Keira Knightley and James McAvoy), and a making-of book describing the characters, the clothing and everything else about the film.
Lastly, I've seen Sense and Sensibility and thanks to my cousin Maritza, I have this film. This movie has Emma Thompson as the shy Elinor Dashwood and Kate Winslet as the scandalous Marianne Dashwood. This film, along with the novel, concentrates on the lives of the two sisters, and how they cope with their circumstances. It's more about sisterhood than it is about romance. Emma Thompson did an excellent job writing the screenplay and received an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1995, two Golden Globe for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, and it won many other countless awards for me to mention them all here. It's just that good.
If anything Jane Austen has been an inspiration to me and she will keep on developing my love for the art of the novel. She has inspired me so much that my dream wedding dress is designed with the Regency Era in mind.
Here are a few Austen must haves:
The Jane Austen action figure
The Jane Austen Little Thinker plush doll (You better belive I have this one! ^_^)
Jane Austen Is My Homegirl tee (I totally want this in teal!!!)
Jane Austen: Her Life and Letters: A Family Record (A collection of letters written by Jane Austen placed together in one book by her grand nephew and great-grand nephew)
Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners (An etiquette book based on the times of Jane Austen. You won't think about her world in the same way again)
Jane Austen Finger Puppet (Because your fingers need a little personality. Haha!)
Jane Austen Sparkling Pendant (This is the most beautiful way to wear Jane Austen around your neck)
Jane Austen's Little Instruction Book (A Little Gift Book)
Pride and Prejudice (The Comic book version of Pride and Prejudice!!! I can now die happy!!!)
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (A work of fiction, but it's not less fun to read than any other fictional book)
Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure (It's a "go to this page to do that" kind of book)
Becoming Jane: The Wit and Wisdom of Jane Austen (The Miramax film edition, different than the one below)
The Wit and Wisdom of Jane Austen: Quotes From Her Novels, Letters, and Diaries
Everything this shop has is cute!
Your own Jane Austen lip balm!
A Jane Austen tote bag
So as I finish this post I want to wish a Happy Birthday the great Jane Austen. I wish you were still alive today to see how much happiness your novels have brought the world.
As a fun activity I found a website that had a quiz where you can figure out which Jane Austen novel heroine you are. I am Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility.
Here's what is said about my results:
You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.
I want to challenge all who read my blog to take the quiz themselves, even if you haven't read any of her novels. You could end up finding out you are a particular character and you might want to read up on the book that your character was based off from. You can take the quiz in link. Then I want to ask you to post your results on the comments section of this post. Happy quiz taking! ^_^